The dawn of global downtime provides humankind with more time to ponder and make sense of various natural phenomena.

Twin Tempests depicts a scene of stormy seas with a peculiar mix of various bird species captured within the same frame. The painting is a mirroring diptych done in a batik-adjacent wax-resist technique that creates an aesthetic bordering between naturalism and flattened stylization. 

Twin Tempests
2021, 117 x 217cm (Diptych)
Acrylic paint staining and oil paint on linen

Adam is an avid surfer, and this painting is about a winter storm that the artist experienced on the beach in Southern California. The day it happened, the sky had been dark at the beach all day, but then there was a break in the clouds on the horizon and the wind came up. As the weather changes, the black crows and white seagulls circle all around the artist. All the while, the cool and collected pelicans flew in a tidy crisp line at the horizon, hunting for fish. While at first glance those birds do not belong together, but because of California’s ecological composition the coexistence of the three species becomes possible. In this aspect, the painting teeters the balance between being “possible fantasies” and “realistic idealism”, not completely fantastical, yet curated enough that it is not completely natural.

Adam has lately been painting birds against the California city landscapes as a metaphor for migration and cultural diversity. Coincidentally, global unrest has exposed multiple problems in the society, including the racial, political, and class justice. While not intentionally talking about racial tension, because of the political landscape it is created in, a racial justice approach to reading this work becomes a totally valid point of view.

Adam de Boer
(b. 1984, Riverside, California, USA)

Adam de Boer has been travelling throughout Indonesia to investigate his Eurasian heritage for the past ten years. His recent work employs imagery and traditional crafts from the region to connect his artistic practice with those of his distinct cultural forebears.

De Boer graduated with a BA in Painting from the College of Creative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2006, and an MA in Fine Art from the Chelsea College of Art, London in 2012. In 2017, de Boer was awarded a Fulbright research fellowship to Indonesia, alongside grants from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, Arts for India, The Cultural Development Corporation, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and The Santa Barbara Arts Fund.

His recent exhibitions include Gazelli Art House, London, The Hole, New York, and Gajah Gallery in 2021, ISA Art + Design, Jakarta in 2020; Hunter Shaw Fine Art, Los Angeles in 2020/2018; Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London in 2020; World Trade Centre, Jakarta 2018; and Art|Jog, Yogyakarta 2018/2015.