Saturday, August 30, 2014

Darth Vader surfing and a mermaid riding a unicorn--welcome to the world of artist Sean Boyce

Wandering around the 626 Night Market on August 16th, I was impressed by many of the artists who had set up booths. For instance, I was attracted to the chic sexiness of Eddy Lee's female portrait work, and I liked the hyper energy of the watercolors of Geoff Pascual. A third artist who caught my eye was Boston-native Sean Boyce. His paintings, which included Darth Vader surfing and a mermaid riding a unicorn as angry Godzilla looked on, was brightly colored, psychedelic, and influenced by surfer and pop culture. It was as if Lisa Frank was on mushrooms while strolling on Venice Beach. I loved it.

"Since my arrival at Los Angeles, my work has become much more fanciful and whimsical," Boyce said. "I have taken the mermaid motif that I picked up first in the nautical lore of my hometown Cape Cod and have rode with it quite far to expand the mythology to Martians, unicorns, sea monsters, Godzilla, all kinds of pop surrealistic subjects."
"Dream at Point Dume" by Sean Boyce
After the 626 Night Market, I connected with Boyce through Instagram. He has a portfolio of his artwork on the site, and Instagram is one of his many tools he uses to get his work out there. In addition to social media, Boyce often exhibits at Venice Beach, usually on the weekends. He has also exhibited his work at galleries, art fairs, art walks, cafes, bookstores, and libraries.
"Duxter Skates Venice" by Sean Boyce
Boyce started drawing at a young age. According to his biography, he studied culinary arts and worked as a chef in the 1990s to support his family. When the time was right, he left the cooking world to become a full time artist.

"I started drawing at age five, my dad and mom taught me how," Boyce said. "I read h.w. Hanson's history of art when I was young and became obsessed with Michalangelo's Statue of David. I then got into Spiderman and was obsessed with comic books. My mom took me to two comic book conventions in New York City when I was seven and eight years old. I have been avidly studying artists, filmmakers and musicians my whole life. I am self taught, but an artist can never avoid being taught something by his peers through the course of his travels."
"The Kiss" by Sean Boyce
Boyce takes his influences from various disciplines: paintings, music, and film, for instance. Some painters that have influenced his style include Salvador Dali, Van Gogh, and Eddy Lee (check out my interview with Lee here.), and musicians include Kiss, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, Gucci Mane, and Far East Movement, among others. Films include Blade Runner, Monty Python and The Holy Grail, and Repo Man.
"Lucky Surfing" by Sean Boyce
Boyce's next project is inspired by his experience at the 626 Night Market. "I  will begin a horse racing painting now inspired by my times at 626 Night Market at Santa Anita Racetrack. It's also inspired by the fabulous horse racing paintings of Degas," Boyce said. Additionally, he plans to do a yachting painting "with a bunch of men involved in various nautical actions."

To connect with Boyce or to purchase his paintings or prints, you can find him on Facebook or Instagram.
"Darth" by Sean Boyce

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