Australian, born 1942
synthetic polymer paint on canvas
Gift of the artist through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program, 2020
Robert Boynes’ paintings absorb the viewer in unsettling, speculative narratives. It is not only the provocation of a viewer’s intellect and imagination that has driven Boynes’ painting, but a confrontation with our urban structures, our social behaviours and codes. In the series of which Honey is a part, bodies are configured or dematerialize. Boynes’ paintings bring the human body sometimes to an incandescent light in images that are simultaneously secretive but that operate as urgent visual broadcasts into the public domain about our human frailties.
In Honey, intimacy, reverie, and interiority are a sanctuary away from the depersonalised urban fabric—one of Boynes’ preoccupying, politically charged subjects. The painting depicts solitary individuals in each panel. The left and right panels contain ghostly silhouettes seen as if through Venetian blinds. The central panel, in contrast, is an abstraction that evokes the hive, fluidity, vibration and an inherent energy. The shimmering, fleeting nature of the images contribute to an overall evocation of instability, unease, eroticism and voyeurism in the painting.