Gallery 21

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Cosmic Debris


  • Gallery 21 115 West 21st Street Norfolk, VA, 23517 United States (map)

Gallery 21 proudly announces the Opening of Cosmic Debris, an exhibition by Chris Boylan, a local artist with a flair for the surreal. The exhibition will feature a selection of sketches and paintings that showcase Boylan’s versatility and style. The Opening Reception on Saturday, March 16, 2019 is free and open to the public. Light hors d’oeurves and wine will be served. To view more of Chris Boylan’s work, please visit @chris.stobos.

Artist Statement

Whether I am quickly scribbling faces on a napkin in a busy public space or spending entire Sunday mornings in the studio, I become absorbed in the canvas. My creativity allows me to tune in and connect the body and mind without distractions. When I work on my art, I have peace of mind. 

I enjoy working on multiple projects simultaneously and employing a variety of art media. I gain equal satisfaction from using charcoals or oils to achieve depth and meticulously develop details, or creating simple, eloquent linework with ink or acrylics. Much of my work is figurative, often with an Expressionist or Surrealist twist. One of my favorite things to draw or paint is distorted faces, especially with wrinkles. 

My inspirations come from several sources. Music plays a major role, particularly jazz, blues, and hip hop. I am always listening to music. I have also been playing guitar for nearly 20 years. Playing music and collaborating with my friends, whether through music or visual art, always has stimulated my creativity My work is also influenced by alchemy, physics, and world religions. I have an insatiable curiosity about the artworks of past civilizations and exploring the ways humanity has always sought to rationalize phenomena. 

Artistic influences include: Mati Klarwein’s psychedelic album cover designs; the colors, moods, and depictions of alienation by Edvard Munch; Joan Miro’s popping colors, symbolism, and gestural applications; the wildly imaginative manifestations of the dark side of the human psyche by Hieronymus Bosch; and many artists from the 90s and early 2000s skateboarding culture. 

COSMIC DEBRIS, the title of my current exhibition at Gallery 21, is borrowed from a song by American musician and composer, Frank Zappa, whose work has been described as free-form improvisation or nonconformist musical satire. The words, Cosmic Debris, evoke an almost-illegible cacophony of marks, colors, meanings, and materials. To me, these words infer that we are the only species on Earth that creates art, and without understanding of context or history, art is merely cosmic debris. 

I hope my art will evoke reflection, and stimulate diverse thoughts and interpretations, to convey a certain resonance or familiar feeling that provides comfort. That comfort may come from the realization of that which inherently separates us as individuals is ultimately what binds us together as extensions of one. 

In the future, I hope to create art that is larger in scale and continue expanding my range of styles. Over time, I hope to exercise more patience with my art, and I would like to reintegrate teaching art into my future.

Chris Boylan Flyer.jpg
Earlier Event: October 6
Max Yawney Disparation