For several years, Besner has devoted himself exclusively to painting in his search for an aesthetic that corresponds to his word view. Full of colour and emotion, his paintings have been inspired by his early education in architecture, by the great masters of painting whom he holds as models and by the encounters he has made in the back streets of Montreal. His paintings show a playful yet insistent gaze upon the world which surrounds us. Besner has also been profoundly marked by the ravages of the body as well as by that which in the body is the most striking as an object of contemplation and reflection. Besner creates characters that bear traces of the past, who sometimes seem to be mere shadows of themselves, yet who confront their destiny to the very end. Such characters, worthy of fable, are often inspired by some of the characters of Otto Dix and Nicolas de Crécy, the comic book author, to mention just these two. His characters progress towards the future, like all human beings. They are creatures who are torn apart and gnawed by hope …
Besner was born in 1965 in North Lancaster, Ontario. He completed his Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Montreal in 1992. He began his studies in architecture at Algonquin College in Ottawa, a few years prior to beginning his B.A. This early education allowed him to focus his thoughts on the nature of the city and its components: its profoundly human structure, the tradition that must be taken into account prior to any attempt at urban development, and the factors which are essential for survival in all urban and cultural contexts. His years at university allowed him to develop a critical sense and to define his world view focused on the human, while maintaining a concern for the past, the present and the future. This education ultimately led to the discovery of his true passion, painting. It also provided him with the tools that will help him transform his formal learning into a pictorial aesthetic of figure and space, through the eyes of an artist, semi-realist and semi-fiction.
Besner’s creative work is based on a mixed technique on canvas. He has a preference for oil sticks and their rich palette of colours as well as acrylic paint, structural mortar, china marker and aerosol paint. In addition to these materials, he uses a technique of application by the fingers and scraping of the canvas.
Besner met Michael Mensi in 1996, of the Mensi & Rioux artist-painter agency, who proposed that they begin to work in a joint effort. As a result of this commitment, several events happened, including the event-exhibit, La démesure des convoités, November 9, 2004, at the CDP Capital Centre (1000, place Jean-Paul-Riopelle in Montreal), as well as the publication of two books of the artist: La démesure des convoités. Dominic Besner (2000-2004) and Dominic Besner (1993-2000).
In January 2007, Besner was invited to exhibit his most recent work at La Villa des Arts Museum in Casablanca (Morocco) which work inspired three Moroccan designers (Si Mohamed Lakhdar, Karim Tassi and Albert Oiknine) who created a Moroccan caftan inspired by the painting of the artist. The exhibit entitled “Au fil de l’Art” developed into a travelling exhibit that inspired many artists and designers to explore new areas of creation based on the work by Besner. The exhibit was shown in Rabat (Morocco), Montreal, Calgary and Toronto (Canada).