You can find many things within the darkness and light in Dustin’s paintings, from Dantesque scenes and forms, to pop-culture icons. And because of his skillful use of the medium, you can easily find yourself immersed deep in the storytelling of his works.
Dustin Bonivert makes paintings about his feelings of life, death and pop culture. He was born in Hayward, California in 1980 and learned to draw as a child inspired by his father and comic books.
After Dustin fought in the Afghanistan war in 2009, he found healing through self-expression and his art. He then refocused on his craftsmanship and began learning traditional oil-painting techniques to fully realize his intentions. The results are a blend of pop-surrealism and classical realism depicting sardonic themes of love, life, death and forgiveness.
He currently enjoys improving his painting technique and sharing his paintings with anyone willing to experience his work.
We wanted to know more about Dustin and about his life as an artist in northern California. So we decided to ask a few questions to get to know him better.
What inspired you to become an artist?
Many of my earliest memories are of creative things and school art projects. Art has always been something that felt better than anything else, but creating art is also very hard. I have tried in the past to not be an artist and to exclude it from my life, but it always comes back to get me.
Where do you showcase your works? Do you look for opportunities away from home?
I like to share my work where it can be best experienced. Sometimes this is on Instagram, preferably it is in person. I really enjoy meeting anyone who is willing to go to shows or galleries to enjoy art. I am currently working on an upcoming group show in New York that will only be featuring replicas of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo DaVinci. This will be the second time I have painted the Mona Lisa. Initially, I considered my forgery work to be more of a craftsman endeavor, but it really compliments my personal work as well; After each one I find I can more easily express myself and I can see my technique improved as well.
What would you wish for the Nor-state in terms of artistic opportunities?
I would love to see it continue to grow and solidify. I want to contribute and participate in more of the local art shows, and I am sure I am not the only one. Art can elevate the communities around them, even on a small scale, which can help everyone and build a stronger artist community. On a selfish note, I would also love to have more galleries that showed weird and lowbrow art.
You can learn more about Dustin by visiting his website dustinbonivert.com and following him on Instagram @dbonivert for updates and progress on his works. And as with any local artist, make sure to support him whenever his works are on display.
Works by Dustin Bonivert, Instagram: @dbonivert