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Biennale of Sydney 2008 - Robert Boynes

18 June 2008

Left: Chinese Cinema, 2008, acrylic on canvas, 120 x 120cm

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Robert Boynes works through a series of oppositions within his practice, both in terms of his subject matter and his creative process. He simultaneously draws attention to the outside and the inside, public and private, static and animated, the unique and the repeatable. In his new show at Brenda May Gallery in July, Boynes reflects on the nature of our urban existence by presenting his audience with snapshots of the often-mundane aspects of our lives: walking through the city, waiting for a train, pausing on the street. He presents these snapshots in a way that severs them from their original context and allows them to stand in for all commuters - all citizens who occupy any city.

He abstracts these commonplace activities, veiling them in various ways, and paring down the figure to their essential elements through which only the movement and -gure are discernible. His method of working also mirrors this concept of the generic image that relates to us all. He draws on a bank of images that he has taken over his many years as an artist - from this vast bank he repeats key iconic images, inverts them, crops them and re-presents them. He uses these photographs to build up his paintings with a multitude of layers created from screenprinting and various methods of direct paint application. His screen prints are in?nitely repeatable but also infinitely repeated upon the one surface in order to create a multi-layered, and often highly textured, surface that, in its final form, is entirely unique.