Bringing to our attention the beauty that we overlook in our surroundings, Bastidas creates images where reality and fantasy coexist to form a connection with his personal and persuasive visual language. These works are inspired by images of woods, jungles, riversides and gardens taken by the artist on his trips throughout the U.S., Ecuador and France. Pairing incandescent light with alluring elements of connection such as circling vines, branches and bridges, he draws our attention to spectacular displays of nature endangered by human actions, often ignored and abused. Bastidas brings light into his grisaille-like paintings with a delicate yet awing technique. Playing with the effects from the artificial glow a chandelier creates in the woods, he replicates the magnificent aura of a lit up palace in the context of lush vegetation growing wildly in the open air. In Illumination (2015) we experience a sense of greatness that is emphasized by the decontextualized chandelier, mysteriously camouflaged in the midst of the grisaille, but functioning as the main source of light. Sleepwalking (2015) continues Bastidas’ ongoing series of bridges, but dives deeper into his complex investigation of intertwined reality and fantasy. Before us we see a bridge, the opposite end concealed with overgrown vegetation, inviting us to cross but hiding what lies on the other side. It references the necessary flux in a world where there is no stopping, even if the end result is unknown. We see a common element of circulation in these paintings, of nature wrapping the scene, a symbol of the circle of life, where everything is connected in a sense of grandness. So Similar (2015) becomes even more literal, with circles floating and ovals hanging, a visual metaphor of how the differences in our cultural and political systems become contiguous in their extremes. Bastidas brings these subjects to us with an intense sense of hope, his concerns brightened in the same way his chandeliers light up the gloomy woods. In highlighting the majestic beauty of our environment, he points out how we should stop, be come aware and celebrate it as the Grand Paleia (2014) we are fortunate enough to inhabit.