|Seonglan Kim Boyce, Floating|
Ocean, 2010, Oil on Canvas,
18" X 18"
Floating Ocean seems all too simple, at first. Boyce has presented us with a series of light blue rectangles in a seemingly random pattern arranged on a while field. The effect, if one let's one's imagination run wild for a moment, is of droplets, drizzles, and puddles of water floating in the air. The piece is whimsical and fun enough that one can't help but think of scenes from cartoons in which water waits until Elmer Fudd or another hapless type is directly underneath it before falling.
As strange as this cartoon comparison might seem, it isn't very far from how Boyce describes her own work. "My painting starts with a memory of a specific space. It gives me structural references and emotional content. I try to construct a space that is even, balanced, immediate and open. In the painting I want a sense of time, yet still and silent." In Floating Ocean Boyce has suspended a simplified image of ocean water in negative space--the air, perhaps--and, in so doing, gives the impression of a wave on the verge of crashing. Viewers can follow the motion of the wave from the right to the left as the rectangles form the broken line of a tilted "S". The motion, and the time that must pass for the water to form a wave is implied by the "S" curve, but everything is frozen and still. This is the moment right before the water crashes down--whether onto poor widdle Elmer or the shore--and asserts itself as a force of nature.
The thin lines have the potential to adopt the greater weight of the larger rectangle in the upper left corner, but by the very nature of pictorial representation, they never will. The painting, for this reason, is both frustrating and fascinating.
*"In Depth" is a series of posts dedicated to taking a closer look at (and maybe completely misinterpreting) individual paintings exhibited by the DCCA. If you would like to nominate a painting at the DCCA for an "In Depth" feature, feel free to write a comment and let me know!