Sometimes we discover something that just grabs our attention so deeply that we have to drop everything and stand, and look in silence.
Rafel bestard, oil painter and artist, born in Palma de Mallorca in 1967, studied his calling at the University of Barcelona, Fine Arts in 1990
Professor of Drawing Techniques at ESDIB between 2009 and 2012
The gripping impact of Rafel’s painting is a powerful experience. To be drawn into the strange sensations of looking at a painting that reminds you of something you are sure you have felt before.
When I first saw his paintings, I was standing in silence looking at the image of two young women wearing white tee shirts, naked from the waist down, in a nonchalant, an unassuming pose that mirrors each other, their backsides bared but clearly not the reason for the painting. There was much more to it that that.
Imagine the dreams that we all have, a landscape, a room, another person present. That person is silent, yet their body language speaks volumes to you. These two women are speaking with their bodies. They say something different to each viewer, yet it’s touching the same place in the mind, the silent dreams that we all have.
The people we meet in dreams act differently to real life. Dreams are about what we observe.
Dream figures are strange, they lay down on the floor and look up at you. A man or women, in your dream, approaches you and makes an odd gesture, which in real life would be frightening or confusing, but in your dream they are powerful communications.
Such gestures are intriguing, and seem to demand a response from us that we are unsure of, unless we venture further into the dream.
In dreams the rules of communication are different to the real, they are symbolic — often taken from our own lives and exaggerated to become important and meaningful.
Rafel’s paintings offer us a doorway that can lead us back into forgotten fragments of thoughts.
It was only after the silence in his paintings seeped into my mind, that I began to remember the fragments of my own dreams. Forgotten moments, experienced long ago, or last week, while deep in sleep.
His painting is not my dream. His paintings are silent reminders of how we dream.
A woman, her eyes in deep shadow, her hand held close to her mouth. A gesture that evokes emotions of loneliness, wanting and hoping, maybe she is remembering her dream. Maybe, she is shocked and sad.
When I write about Rafel Bestard’s paintings you are reading my words. The common words that convey my thoughts, formulated into explanations of my own experiences. You experience my words and not the paintings — the silence that is evoked through direct contact with the work is not possible in my words. To express silence that comes through experience is not possible with words.
We don’t communicate that way. But dreaming allows us to be drawn into another mental state that allows us to directly experience the power of a silent and peaceful mind. We are taken by Rafel Bestard’s paintings into a realm where there exists a gap, a place where it is only possible to experience in silence and contemplation. All words are gone, emotion speaks and we understand differently than we do with everyday chatter.
Noise is our everyday enemy. It destroys the ability to think, and therefore, to communicate clearly with each other.
When a painter spends his or her life dedicated to exploring and diligently experimenting with other forms of communication. Their success can only become obvious when their audience begins to feel and understand, and without words, to experience the culminating point of intuitive knowledge that words cannot express.
That experience of silence and emotion is a personal realisation for the audience.
Rafel Bestard’s work takes you to this place from where you will not wish to return.
As I stood and observed his paintings, the room full of eager viewers. The walls dampened the sound of their excited voices, the paintings drew me in and the voices became a murmur, like the moments when we begin to drift while waiting for something.
Interest, concentration and desire arise and the world disappears. Now in a place where I feel something deeper and more meaningful than that which our lives have become, I remember the moments and fragments of my stories and dreams, and realise how important it is.