J.B. Boyd is a professional vagabond in search of place. He was born in Montclair, NJ in 1978. In 1997 he moved to Boston, MA to study at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. He currently lives on Goat Island in the coastal marshes outside of Charleston, SC. He is best known for his elongated panoramic landscape paintings, realistically depicting various landscapes from the Etosha Pan, Namibia to Ghost Ranch, New Mexico.
“We as viewers are completely locked into the idea of the traditional rectangle as a viewing space,” says Boyd. “Be it from the photograph or the television, the contemporary viewer expects information to be presented in this way, and it limits the idea of representation. By using ovals, elongated panels, and other unexpected shapes I hope to create a more naturalistic view which implies a true field of vision.”
Focusing on the Lowcountry as a subject, Boyd’s paintings start with photographs, or more accurately, the journey to reach the photograph site. Boyd uses boats, ladders, trees and whatever else he can find and/or trespass on to create a unique perspectives. Perched twenty feet above the flat expanse of the marsh, or lying belly down in the mud, Boyd photographs in series to create a 360º view. Then, back in his studio, he arranges, crops, and edits these photographs to make a singular image. Using the image as a reference, his oil paintings are built up layer by layer, with each subsequent layer tightening the detail presented.
Charleston art critic Kevin Murphy called Boyd, “an artist whose wonderlust is stabilized by measured technique, and his technique is impressive,” while Nick Smith wrote, “in Boyd’s hands bark is always beautiful. Stripped of their leaves, jutting from snow-banks, some of his trees could be escapees from one of Casper Friedrich’s sweetest dreams.” Boyd has shown in New York City, Los Angeles, and most recently in a series of solo shows at Robert Lange Studios in Charleston, SC. His work has been featured in national publications such as American Art Collector and Interior Design Magazine. Boyd is the 2008 winner of the Michael and Donna Griffith Lowcountry Artist’s Award grant.
I don’t know if you have ever observed this strange thing, the self. Often the more you look the more it doesn’t seem to be like it, and the more you look the more it isn’t it. It’s just like when one is lying on the grass and staring at a cloud- at first it is like a camel, then like a woman, and when you look again it becomes an old man with a long beard, but this doesn’t last because clouds are transforming every instant.
I love that instant. That perfect point where a shadow that has been scratching its way across the ground completes the composition, where the wind drops like a feather to leave the surface of the water perfectly reflective, the moment where the grass is golden, reflecting the glow of the setting sun. Or perhaps it is that brief moment where a cloud stands up to show itself against the fading light of day, right before it will be torn apart by a merciless wind, dying into the cold night.
It is the instant that makes the mosaic of life a reality, and it is the gift of the artist to be able to pick that apart, mull it over, slow it down, and refine it into an image that can translate that moment (or any moment) back to the viewer. This is why I take so much time in creating my paintings, even to the point where I spend hours simply staring at what I have or have not accomplished, making sure that it is “right.”
The moment exists, but it is my sincere hope that through no lack of effort, will, and technique I can refine it to the point where it translates into a reality for you, the viewer. And make no mistake, it is truly your reality, your moment, and I hope it is beautiful. Because in the end life is beautiful, and the harder you look the more perfect and complete it may be.
“Solo” RL•S Gallery, Charleston 2011
“Length” RL•S Gallery, Charleston 2010
“Grey” The City Gallery at Waterfront Park, Charleston 2009
“16 Miles” RL•S Gallery, Charleston 2008
“Trees” RL•S Gallery, Charleston 2007
“Sea Change” RL•S Gallery, Charleston 2006
“Dimensions” RL•S Gallery, Charleston 2006
“The Africa Paintings” RL•S Gallery, Charleston 2005
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS:
“Epic” RL•S Gallery, Charleston 2018
“Attention to Detail” RL•S Gallery, Charleston 2017
“Remants” RL•S Gallery, Charleston 2016
“Silver vs. Gold” Vendue Art Hotel, Charleston, SC 2015
“Braving the Elements” RL•S Gallery, Charleston 2014
“CCF's Griffith-Reyburn Lowcountry Artist of the Year” City Gallery, Charleston 2013
“North vs. South” RL•S Gallery, Charleston 2013
“Evolution” RL•S Gallery, Charleston 2013
“The Heart Attack” Eye Level Art, Charleston 2011
“What We Choose” RL•S Gallery, Charleston 2011
“Black vs. White” RL•S Gallery, Charleston 2010
“Ratio” RL•S Gallery, Charleston 2008
“small Works 2007” RL•S Gallery, Charleston 2007
“BIG Works 2006” RL•S Gallery, Charleston 2006
“Summer Show: Emerging Artists” Spike Gallery, NYC 2002
“Art Potluck: Photos, Paintings, Performance, & Perversion” The Space, LA 2001
SELECTED JURIED EXHIBITIONS:
“Third Coast National” kSpace Contemporary, Corpus Christi 2011 Juror: Tony Magar
“Vanishing Landscapes: Piccolo Spoletto 24th Annual Juried Art Exhibition” City Gallery at Waterfront Park, Charleston 2008 Juror: Dr. Mokhless Al-Hariri
“Studio Visit Magazine” The Open Studios Press, Boston 2008 Juror: Carl Belz, Director of the Rose Art Museum
“Boit Competition” Grossman Gallery, Boston 1999 Jurors: Deborah Bright, Randi Hopkins, Todd McKie
AWARDS & GRANTS:
“Michael and Donna Griffith Lowcountry Artist’s Award” Winner $5,000 Grant Charleston 2008
“Michael and Donna Griffith Lowcountry Artist’s Award” Finalist Charleston 2007
“Dana Pond Awards in Painting” Finalist SMFA Boston 1999
B.F.A. Painting, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston & Tufts University, Medford, MA 2000
Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia (one semester) 1996
RL•S Gallery, 2 Queen Street St. Charleston, SC 29401 (843) 805.8052
REVIEWS OF EXHIBITIONS:
Smith, Nick “Coastal Beauty” Charleston City Paper April 1, 2009 p.43 Reproduction
Monet-Williams, Simone “Landscapes are a Passion” The Post & Courier March 5, 2009 p.27F
Murphy, Kevin “Moody Hues” Charleston City Paper June 25 2008 p. 47 Reproduction
Rose, Joshua “16 Miles” American Art Collector June, 2008 p. 146-149 Reproductions
Smith, Nick “View from the Street” Charleston City Paper May 9, 2007 p. 34
Smith, Nick “Supersize Me” Charleston City Paper February 15, 2006 p. 39.