Kevin John Best OAM
January 1932 - July 2012
Kevin Best was a well known Australian traditional artist whose celebrated style earned him acclaim worldwide. His underwater rock scenes, mountain backdrops and trademark ‘rays of light’ have elevated his bush landscapes into the realm of ‘romantic impressionism.’ Kevin’s seascapes encapsulate both the power and the tranquility of the Australian coast, often bathed in early morning or late afternoon tones and his sweeping snowscapes have fired the imagination of writers, poets and other artists alike.
Uniquely Australian, Kevin’s work explores the underlying stories set within every scene, from a stockmen chasing wild horses down a mountain gully to a fisherman idly watching a lone sea eagle, the foam fanning out before him. Whether they live beneath the brilliant midday light, the burnished, waning sunshine or the golden halo of the moon as it sails across inky night skies, Kevin’s subjects tell an endless Australian tale of beauty, adventure and reflection, holding an appreciative public within the artists gaze.
We trust you enjoy exploring the world through Kevin’s eyes.
Kevin was born in 1932 in Hamilton, NSW.
In 1940 Kevin joined the cub scouts and thus began a life-long love of the Australian bush.
After leaving school, circumstances did not permit pursuit of a full-time art career, so he started work as office-boy for a stockbroker (and stayed 25 years with this firm). Although his art was put on hold during booms and busts, he never lost his love of art and the Australian outdoors. At the age of 40, he painted his first oil as a present for his sister.
Encouraged and supported by his family, he "followed his star" and has never looked back. He became a full-time artist on the 30th September, 1977.
Kevin travelled widely throughout Australia and was constantly moved by the myriad aspects of light in all its forms. All the beauty that lies between the misty blue silence of the high country and the silver spray on golden shores is captured in timeless paint. His golden rays of light add a dream-like atmosphere to his work, evoking memories and telling stories, making him one of Australia's most popular artists today.
In 1974 Kevin held his first "one-Man" exhibition (a sellout) and held well over 50 solo exhibitions in years to follow. Many of his paintings are in private and corporate collections all over the world. In recent years, Kevin's work has been featured in limited and open edition prints, calendars, greeting cards and placemats. His first book 'A Brush with Light' was published in 1996 , his second 'Secrets of the Brush' in July 2007.
Kevin had a colourful personality, his humour and wit apparent in the titles and stories of his paintings. His beautiful work reveals a world that, in its mystique is uniquely Australian.
Awards include a section first prize and highly commended in the Rotary Club Camberwell, first prize three years running at Castle Hill Agricultural Show and awards in many regional shows. Recently his most prestigious award for commitment to the arts and fundraising through his art, was the Order of Australia Medal in 2005.