David Best: The Road Less Taken

An Exhibition In Four Part Harmony

This exhibit highlights four projects that David Best created over several decades.

Requiem to Ansel’s Tree refers to a noble oak tree that Ansel Adams photographed in 1950. Best bought one of Adams’ special edition prints of this tree in 1973. With the help of photographer Jeff Nixon, Best located Adams’ noble oak in 1992 and began making his own photos of this tree. During a Yosemite photo trip in 2010, Best was dismayed to learn that the tree had fallen into the Merced River. The next year he found the downed tree. It had been swept downstream, but was still recognizable. For the past 12 years, he has documented the noble oak as it continues its downstream journey and inevitable decay.

At some point, Best realized that he was building a collection of crucifix images. Some are sacred and some profane. In Best’s view, Jesus has been commercialized to the same extent as Elvis or Marilyn. Who Is Jesus? portrays Best’s perspective of crucifixes as cultural artifacts rather than religious Idolatry.

Best wonders who thought enormous balloons would help sell automobiles. Car Lot Balloons documents what he perceives as the “tackiness” of the inflatables.

When he first started shooting panoramas with his iPhone 6, Best was amazed at how proficiently the computer stitched everything together, despite how unsteadily he held his phone. The images in Tilt-A-Whirled are a result of Best’s experiments with how much “jerkiness” the computer could handle.