Artist Profile

ROBERT BESANKO

WHAT WAS IT LIKE FOR YOU TO BE IN A PHOTOGRAPHIC darkroom for the first time?

I remember it very well. I couldn’t have been older than two, because the darkroom was in Temora (NSW) and we moved to East Melbourne when I was three. I remember being very affected by the metaphysics of the darkroom: the black velvet curtain, the darkness, the red light, the equipment, and the way my father and his friend were really into photography, it was remarkable.

Were there other art forms?

As a boy I loved painting, listening to music and learning to play the piano. But I was also into sailing, swimming and tennis and they evoked my ability for concentration and helped me win races and competitions. But I disliked any attention, especially being praised, I am very uncomfortable with success. Attention traumatised me so much, there were moments I couldn’t engage in my achievements. This anxiety has affected my entire life, even right now talking to you, I feel I shouldn’t be speaking. Art grew in

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Artist Profile

Artist Profile4 min read
Phantasms Joe Frost
Frost gives his paintings a kind of autonomy; they want to be or become things that are partially obscure to him. For instance, he says of one of the first that he brings forward, ‘It’s a funny painting that one. It’s almost a bit darker than it want
Artist Profile4 min read
The Last Portraits Geoff Dyer
When I arrive at Geoff Dyer’s Hobart studio to discuss his upcoming exhibition of portraits at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG), there’s not a single portrait in sight. Instead, amongst the mountains of bent paint tubes, there are dozens o
Artist Profile5 min read
Kushana BUSH
Based in Dunedin, New Zealand painter Kushana Bush has long drawn aesthetic influence from disparate times and cultures. Her rich visual vocabulary is dense with references to the artists whose work is, for her, worthy of worship. Bush has been paint