- In a virtuoso way Hugo Besard is gouging out magical worlds which take in every spectator and give him a taste of the eternal mystical power that lurks in every creation.
His etchings are paying tribute to the poetry of unspoilt nature.
To nature as it is given birth by the stars.
To the cycle of life and death.
His works are as fairy tales in which you can get lost.
Fairy tales that whisper you awake by the howling of a wolf or the splashing of rivers.
Tales full of a frail nature and wild world in which christalline egs full of unspoilt nature have high hopes of the hips of your warm soul to make prosper again and again the cycle of life and death.
There where nature has been silenced under meters of concrete indifference it is given a new mouthpiece by Hugo Besard.
Jeroen Perceval – Actor, writer, poet, musician.
- There is a certain ambivalence in Hugo Besard's work: nature, the living world, captivate him: we find in his work the succession of the seasons, the cycle of live and death, the wonder of fertility, the erotic tension between the male and the female element but also the atmosphere of enchantment, symbolism and religious feeling.
One gets the impression that the artist wants to hold something which is slipping away from him, from us.
There is no need for artists to bring a message, but the way in which they see their world can express and strengthen what already lives in their fellowmen, or can serve as a signal for those who need awaking.
Prof. Dr. Etienne Vermeersch, Vice-Rector of Honor University Ghent
- Hugo Besard's art embraces the earth and the whole living world on this planet, from the wriggling insects to the most noble under the mammalians, from the moss to the meteorites, from the egg to the sacred bird of Aphrodite. His artistic
talent also expresses rage for the suffering of our planet, a fury which is painfully conscious of its impotence, because we, as human beings, damage ourselves. The graphic artist Besard puts his technical performance at the disposal of the ecological message he propagates: spare the earth, respect the environment and its inhabitants as sacred and irreplaceable.
Frans Boenders, Royal Flemisch Academy of Belgium for Science and Art
- Both as a professor and as an artist Hugo Besard made a valuable contribution to the development of the art of etching in Flanders.
In form he has remained a pure and convinced figurative artist. His etchings are high-wrought and virtuoso, with special attention to the detail, the inn-fill, the black and white contrasts, the grey tones and the colour.
He often presents his works in diptychs, triptychs, series and suites.
Hugo Besard is an artist whose etchings can be seen as rituals in the cult of beauty.
But he has created this beauty for the benefit of a higher ideal of permanent development.
Ernest Van Buynder, President of MUKHA (Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp)
- It is not nature itself, but the mysterious force behind it, Eros, the love for life, that drives Hugo Besard to trace and to explore the complex world between the silence before birth and the silence after death.
With virtuosity he carves the world into metaphoric and allegoric expressions. The fauna and flora occupying his etchings tell the sparkling story of life and death (Eros and Thanatos), virility and femininity, fertility and aridity, joy and pain, fear and security.
With his eagle-eyed perception he captures the slightest vibration.
He is anecdotal in his mockery, superb in his wrath, serene and respectful when getting down to the very core of the matter.
Jan Van Pelt
- Hugo Besard's graphic oeuvre shows an extraordinary mastery and virtuosity of graphic art.
Besard's work rests upon the tradition of Flemish art and painting by using motives that abound in realism and forms of diptychs and triptychs. New contemporary meaning, however, is written in these above-mentioned forms by permeating the prints with ecological and moral messages.
The richness of Hugo Besard's art derives from the symbiosis of anatomical precision of his etchings with his incredible insight of modern ecological problems, which are shouted in messages that accompany each print.
Marina Majic, art historian - curator of Splitgraphic International Graphic Art Biennial Croatia
- Hugo Besard is one of those pure artists who conveys truly contemporary messages in and between the lines of his superb engravings. There we find complaints of the toughest violations that man imposes on animals and nature - that is the message of today's world that the artist must repeat again and again. But Hugo does it in a practical way by freeing those horrors of their own weight and by giving them the lightness of a simple feather. The result is genial as we can see in his work.
Nuno Canelas, Master in Contemporary Art - Curator, Director and General Commissioner of the International Printmaking Biennial of Douro/Portugal