The title is a commentary on the new work made for this exhibition, of which the paintings and sculptures act as both artwork and artifacts that have traveled with the artist over the past few months. The subject matter is a chronicle of Boyer’s innermost feelings and performative exploits. He chooses materials that allude to intimacy, sensuality and reflection including silk, velvet, and sterling silver. Boyer invited his artist friends A.K. Burns and G.T. Pellizzi to present work at the same time of his show in the gallery’s second exhibition space that opens up a dialogue with his own body of work.
Boyerʼs use of silk fabric as canvas and sterling silver for sculptural objects forms a dialogue with the body and the nomadic qualities of clothing and jewelry. The images of belts in many of his paintings begin as cyanotype photograms exposed to sunlight at locations, such as Fire Island, New York, Joshua Tree, California, and Taxco, Mexico. Boyer uses belts collected from friends, lovers, and fellow artists in these places.
The artist’s relationship to touch and the painted surface is also evident in his paintings on velvet. Quasi-geometric abstractions, the velvet paintings show Boyer’s unique mark as both a stain and a massage. The marks recall daily grooming, like brushing your hair, or applying lotion. The burnished metallic surface of the velvet paintings denies a strictly frontal read of the conventionally sized panels.
Boyer recently explored his own body as a vessel for serving tequila out of his chest. The Tequila Neti Pot sculptures are similarly performative. Integrating themselves as partygoers, each sculpture is wearing a belt inspired by William Spratling, an important figure in the history of Mexican modernism. Like the belt buckles, his doorknob sculptures are symbolic transitional geometry; visual, tactile, and sonic gateways between public and private, interior and exterior.
Boyer’s performance works are experiments in socio-kinetics, an idea concocted by Boyer and curator, Sarina Basta. His events draw from socially engaged structures, such as drinking games, craft workshops, group fitness, and party hosting, as potential vehicles for performance. These performances evade a predetermined outcome by creating a legible and open-ended structure and resist enforcing utopian notions onto the group. Over the past few years his Indigo Dye Vat, Guacamole, Home Tour and Slurp Shot Performances have defined Boyer’s practice as interactive, social experiments that dissect and examine the invisible lines of social geometry between participants and medium. This is also the foundation for Boyer’s abstract paintings.
Travis Boyer was born in 1979 in Fort Worth, Texas. He received an MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School of Fine Arts at Bard College. His artwork and performances have been shown at many museums and institutions including Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, High Desert Test Sites, Joshua Tree, California; Goethe Institute, New York, John Connelly Presents, New York, SOMA Arts, San Francisco; and Louis B James Gallery, New York; He recently had a three-day long performance at Participant Inc, New York. He lives and works in New York.
Since its inception only a year and a half ago, the gallery has taken on a challenging program leading to a change of location in November 2012. Travis Boyer and A.K Burns / G.T. Pellizzi are the inaugural shows in this new 2,200 sq ft. exhibition space. Johannes Vogt Gallery is committed to bringing attention to the complex artistic and cultural ties that bind New York to both Europe and Latin America.