Dusty Boynton’s recent paintings demonstrate her ongoing interest in conflating the informal and the sophisticated. As The New York Times noted in a review, the work has, “A Childlike Style that Isn’t Childish.” Her cast of characters, with their enlarged eyes, heads, and other quirky features, abandon conventional draftsmanship or traditional depiction and end up in a world of their own. The loose and expressive brushstrokes, heightened color palette, and fantastic, sometimes supernatural imagery give her figures a carefree and imaginative, innocence that is often associated with children’s art.
However, despite the initial juvenile sweep of her work, Boynton’s cultivated maturity guides the final product. The initial associations of her pieces begin to yield to subtle details that challenge the viewer’s preconceptions about such imagery. The frivolity of Boynton’s fantasies mingles with more vexing realities.
The sheer scale of her paintings belies the preciousness of child’s drawing. Expressive brushstrokes, while seemingly loose and gestural, only appear to continue uninterrupted as if created by a stick of charcoal, pencil or crayon. The continuous gesture is more calculated and formally rigorous than it would appear. These characteristics result in a kind of expressionism that brings to mind Willem De Kooning as well as Neo Expressionists such as Kippenberger, Immendorf, Chia, and, on this side of the Atlantic, Basquiat. Boynton’s compositions are steeped in a fanciful sensibility that sets her apart from the determined audacity associated with such counterparts.
Equal parts youth and maturity, fantasy and objectivity, Boynton’s work walks a wire that spans from the body to the mind.
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