Ambush

Tin toy robots; Donuts; urban landscapes; outer space—these are the far-fetched and offbeat subjects one can expect to adorn the canvases of San Francisco-based artist Eric Joyner. After experimenting with several interests as painting muses, his illustrative paintings conjure feelings of nostalgia and adventure, as full of in- trigue and plot-holes as the comics he read growing up in middle-American suburbs. The toy models come to life not only in their size and scale, but in the rich attention to their details Joyner skillfully renders in paint: Metal gleams and glints, reflecting light from their eyes or the sun; rivets, seams, and control panels testify to their complexity; while stunning expressions of fur and scales of animals contrast with the cold, machined metal of the robots’ surfaces. They are simply a joy to look at, regardless of the whimsical scenarios we find them in: playing ring-toss with donuts on skyscrapers or being attacked by snakes in the jungle. Inspired by films, an ominous relationship between the robots and the donuts begins to gain presence, with their inter- actions becoming the mouthpiece for Joyner’s expressions of absurdity, irony, happiness, sadness, banality, beauty, and horror.

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