Q&A: Artist Theodore Boyer's Bleached Paintings Combine Math with Chance
By Tali Jaffe
SEPT. 27, 2017
This article was originally published by our friends, Cultured Magazine.
For Cultured's fall issue, artist Theodore Boyer created a series of unique editions typical of his bleach-splattered, star-studded geometric paintings. Here, the stargazer talks about Sacred Geometry, the solar eclipse, and his 18 unique "Magnetic Contraction" canvases, available now exclusively on Artspace.
Why did you want to create a large series of unique editions for Cultured?
My work is about the relationship between the earth and the cosmos and I use mathematics and geometry to create each piece. I chose to create this large series because, like the billions of cells in our bodies and stars in the sky, each one is unique though they have similar structure and composition.
Have you been interested in the cosmos for a long time? Were you a kid who looked up at the stars?
I grew up in Seal Beach, California, home to the Boeing Aeronautics facility which manufactures and sells airplanes, rockets and satellites worldwide. I always imagined myself one day becoming an engineer to build things that go into outer space. One of my many odd jobs out of high school was a first mate on a small cruise boat. I was fascinated with the stars and how sailors would use them to navigate over the vast ocean. Mapping has always been an important tool for me, and often times going off the main course can lead to interesting places; I apply those principles to my work.
Is there a relationship between all of the pieces in this group?
There’s a fascinating theory that Nikola Tesla proposed called the Golden Ratio and Sacred Geometry. It’s the idea that there are patterns that constantly recur in nature. The earth, star formations, cells and all natural systems abide by this rule. I apply this rule to each of the individual pieces which then creates a common thread between each one.
How would you say the series relates to your larger body of work?
Each piece I create—whether it be a GPS painting, Starmap painting or sculpture—all have a specific geometry that relates to the piece that was created before it. It’s about using the last experience to create a new one. This particular series is titled Magnetic Contraction, which is a term I use to imagine matter expanding inward and outward on a micro and macro scale.
How do you go about creating the constellation lines?
I start out by executing the dye and bleach, which by nature takes on a form of its own. I then then go in and intuitively paint line formations that are inspired by astronomical constellations and geometries. The lines create spatial dimensions within the picture.
Where were you for the eclipse?
I was in Maui visiting the observatory on the top of the Haleakalā crater. It is 10,023 feet above sea level and one of the best places on earth to view the night sky. Through the ages, people have been drawn to Haleakala to renew their spirit, study ecosystems, gather resources, study the heavens, understand the earth and enjoy a journey.