David Best

Born in 1945 in California, Best originally trained in sculpture at the San Francisco Institute of Art.

His practice includes sculpture and collage, using found objects to embellish cast porcelain figures and sculptural works made from the skeletons of old cars.

The intricate structures built at Burning Man have been made from recycled wood and each is built with the help of hundreds of volunteers. The Temples have taken on a spiritual significance as spaces for remembrance and forgiving. They are ritually burnt to the ground at the end of the event, along with personal messages, mementos and offerings left inside by participants.

Best has constructed nine temples at Burning Man including the Temple of the Mind (2000), Temple of Tears (2001), Temple of Joy (2002) and Temple of Stars (2004), which was a quarter of a mile long and almost 120ft high, Temple of Forgiveness (2007), Temple of Grace (2014) and Temple (2016).

That same year, David also designed the London 1666 structure that was part of London’s Burning, a festival of arts and ideas produced by Artichoke.

Temple, David Best, 2015. Produced by Artichoke in Derry~Londonderry. Photo by Matthew Andrews