Meet Kevin Best, a new Holland America Line artist

Holland America Line are famous for their onboard art collections, and now they are showcasing the work of some of the World’s leading emerging artists.

The new works will be on display throughout the fleet in special onboard gallery spaces starting this June. During the launch period the galleries will feature works by a select group of emerging international artists.

One of whom is New Zealand born Kevin Best. We meet Kevin at his home in Sydney, Australia where he told us about his work and what inspires it.

Still life paintings from the Dutch Golden Age... reimagined by Kevin Best.

Still life paintings from the Dutch Golden Age… reimagined by Kevin Best.

Kevin reinterprets still life paintings from the Dutch Golden Age using the latest 21st-century photographic technology. “The Dutch were all about making their paintings look real”, he told us. “My work takes the reality of photography and makes it look like a painting so viewers get the same sense of awe”.

Kevin uses genuine items from that era in each of his pieces, such as 300-year-old bronze candlesticks, antique silverware, German jugs and “Kraak” porcelain. But sourcing these items isn’t always possible. “Sometimes I have to make replicas myself”, he quipped!

Kevin uses original items from the period in his photographs.

Kevin uses original items from the period in his photographs.

There is a fascinating hidden meaning in the still life paintings from the Dutch Golden Age, according to Best. “They had complex symbolism. Decoding them and reinterpreting them for the modern viewer is both challenging and rewarding”, he said.

Other featured artists on Holland America Line include Copenhagen-based photographer Nikolaj Lund who photographs musicians interacting with their instruments and Rhode Islander, Kate Blacklock who works within the cutting edge realm of 3D art printing, photography and painting.

Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line, is understandably upbeat about the new onboard galleries. “We wanted to enhance the way art was presented on board and reflected throughout the cruises in a way that was meaningful to our guests”, he said. “The right piece of art can be not only an incredible souvenir for our guests but also a prominent way for them to connect emotionally with their travels.”

Of course Kevin Best’s photographs will be available for sale onboard, as will the work from each of the other featured artist in the Holland America Line galleries. For more information visit the HAL website.

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