A’rs, 2005, oil on canvas, 60 x 50 cm, courtesy of the artist and Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, photo: Yael Engelhart
Boyan's paintings reflect his interest in grotesque human gestures, which he captures expressively on the canvas. Some of the eccentric figures which appear in his paintings are familiar to us from popular culture, other stress stereotypes linked to social class. They stand facing us, usually against a flat background, as if teasing the viewer, exposing the neurotic and pathetic aspects of their identities. The rendering of the figures highlights the dark recesses of contemporary culture, ridiculing what lies beyond the glamour and the fame. Different aspects of fashion (John Currin's Wife, 2007), youth (Rocker Girl, 2005) and "coolness" (A'rs, 2005) are translated into poses of cynically humorous defiance. Two works from the group shown in this exhibition deal directly with the grotesque: the first, Untitled (After Leonardo) (2005) highlights the distorted faces, the circus-like facial expressions and the extreme bodily gestures found in the master's grotesque drawings; the second, Portrait of Francis Bacon (2007), veers between a debasement of this artist's pathetic, suffering image and a deep identification with the myth of his self-destructive inclinations, the anxiety and pain associated with his persona.
Born in Vidin, Bulgaria, 1975; lives and works in New York and Tel Aviv