Diane Best was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and studied in the San Francisco area (Stanford University, San Francisco Art Institute), before moving south to Los Angeles. There, she did commercial artwork for the entertainment industry and commissioned portraits, while pursuing and showing her original work.

The high desert wilderness was her home for 8 years, where she worked freelance for Los Angeles animation studios (background painting) , but over time shifted the focus of her talent to capturing the intense drama of the desert landscape that surrounded her. Now living in Joshua Tree, California, Diane has focused her talent exclusively on capturing the dramatic imagery of various desert landscapes. “Seeking more and more remote, uninhabited and overlooked corners of the desert, I am interested in preserving or recording a single incredible moment of converging light and landscape while enjoying the space, beauty and quietness of the desert,”  describes Best.

It also never ceases to amaze me that, as heavily populated and built up as Southern California is, that there still remain these vast areas of open wilderness and desert where you can drive miles and miles of dirt roads, and see no one for days, if you choose not to. The importance of keeping this kind of experience (of being alone, in a meditative state, in unpopulated oceans of desert, actually being able to see and ride ‘off into the distance’) protected and available to the public is an overriding motivation for me in my work – hoping to convey a sense of this to those not  living in the middle of it.”

Working off of the tradition of the American conservationist artists of the 19th century, Best strives to update landscape painting and film making, utilizing contemporary theories of perception that have been influenced by deep ecology, photography, cinema, digital imaging, and animation.

Diane Best’s work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions throughout the country, including:

solo show at the Carnegie Museum in Oxnard, CA 2009

show at the Southwest Museum in L.A. (part of the Autry Center of the American West), 2009

solo show of her “Shack” photographs at BoxoProjects NYC 2010

2014-2017

solo shows Taylor Junction Gallery, Joshua Tree, CA

Salton Sea Show, group show, Marks Art Center, Palm Desert, CA

Open Desert, photography and music group show, Palm Springs Museum, Palm Springs, CA

Oz Arts, film Ubehebe, Nashville, TN

Music video for Son of the Velvet Rat, Blood Red Shoes, CD/video release show, Furstworld, Joshua Tree, CA

Exploratorium, music & film show (No Destination piece), San Francisco, CA

AM FM Fest,  film fest showing of Ubehebe, Flagstaff Arizona,

Joshua Tree International Film Festival, showing of Ubehebe, Joshua Tree, CA

Best Shorts Competition, award of merit for No Destination and Ubehebe

No Destination, 3-screen video piece shown at Furstworld, Joshua Tree, CA

Eco Lab, USC curated show, showing of film Cadiz, Los Angeles, CA

UCSD Film Event, San Diego, CA

Palm Springs Art Fair, Boxo Projects, Palm Springs, CA

Group Show, Melissa Morgan Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA

Joshua Treenial 2017, film showing Singularity, Joshua Tree, CA

Upcoming 2017:

Objective Painting, group show, Telluride Gallery of Fine Art, Telluride, CO

group show LAX, Virgin America lobby

solo show, Porch Gallery, Ojai, CA

solo show, Bunny Gunner Gallery, Claremont, CA

She has also taught painting workshops in Joshua Tree National Park for the Desert Institute.  Her work has been profiled in the publication “Lifescapes; West Coast Art & Design” (now Art, Ltd),  in a KCET Artbound documentary      http://www.kcet.org/arts/artbound/counties/san-bernardino/diane-best-mojave-desert.html,, and most recently in Palm Springs Life, Art & Culture issue

Now also working as a filmmaker of non-narrative moving image work:

Exploratorium, music & film show (No Destination piece), San Francisco, CA 2013

AM FM Fest, film fest showing of Ubehebe, Flagstaff Arizona, 2015

Joshua Tree International Film Festival, showing of Ubehebe, Joshua Tree, CA 2015

Best Shorts Competition, award of merit for No Destination and Ubehebe 2014-2015

No Destination, 3-screen video piece shown at Furstworld, Joshua Tree, CA 2014

Eco Lab, USC curated show, Cadiz moving image piece, Los Angeles, CA 2014

UCSD Film Event, San Diego, CA 2015

She showed 3 of her short film pieces, with live music by soundtrack composers, as part of the inaugural Joshua Treenial event taking place over the weekend of May 22-24, 2015,  in Joshua Tree, CA

Timelapse Film Festival, film, Hat Trick, Los Angeles, CA

Joshua Treenial 2017, showing of Singularity, Joshua Tree, CA   2017

Music Video for Son of the Velvet Rat, song Blood Red Shoes, CD/video release, Furstworld, Joshua Tree 2017

Video projections for Reverend Screaming Fingers CD release show, Furstworld, Joshua Tree, CA

Representation

BoxoPROJECTS, Joshua Tree, CA

Melissa Morgan Fine Art, Palm Desert CA

Her studio is located in Joshua Tree.

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