Studio visit #5: Trust the process

As an admirer of analogue photos, Bo Bosk enthusiastically talked me through the photo wall in his studio. "This one is from Paris, another one is from Portugal, and this one is from Suriname, which I visited for the first time last summer. The Dutch-Suriname artist, a nominee of this year's Royal painting awards, is best known for his portraitures. Depicting memorable scenes from the movie of his life featuring himself as the protagonist, his friends play a crucial role too. He solidifies the film theme further by adding letterboxing and subtitles in his most recent work resulting in works directly derived from a film.
Bo's upbringing didn't bother with what art encapsulated, and he believed that the art world was rigid; however, looking back, this world is one of the most liberal, where one is free to do anything. Bo first engaged with art by drawing strip figures, which later developed into graffiti, accompanying fellow graffiti-artist in the neighbourhood. Subsequently, the Amsterdam South-East-born and raised artist started drawing caricatures of celebrities which transformed into portraits because the latter is regarded as true art to his former understanding. "The practice of creating a hyperrealistic drawing is an accomplishment, an art itself". Realism was never his strong suit. Thus, the only way to improve was to focus on drawing realistic portraitures.
Gorillaz's Jamie Hewlett is a massive inspiration for Bo. The English comic book creator is the mastermind behind the illustrations of the virtual band Gorillaz. Moreover, Lucian Freud's portraits, David Hockney's use of colours in landscape and Toyin Ojih Odutola's drawings are all looked upon by Bo.
A consistent difficulty for Bo was the proportions between facial features. Getting the ratio right is vital in a hyperrealistic illustration. He developed an understanding of balance through caricatures, but it was when Bo used a tracer that his portraitures enhanced. At first, Bo felt like a fraud when honing his style through enlarged drawings with a tracer. However, it gave him a better understanding of the scales between facial features. Later Bo came to know that Da Vinci and Vermeer were doing the same through a technique called camera obscura. A rather captivating remark is how the facial features of caricatures and portraits contrast in scale, perhaps contributing to a greater understanding of portraits.
The current process behind the artworks consists of different stages, where aspects of the work are evaluated each time during every phase. Earlier, Bo used pictures of celebrities as role models to draw. However, unable to recover crucial missing information because of bad lightning, Bo started taking pictures himself. Nowadays, first, Bo sketches the composition he wants to achieve to develop clarity for the photo and not waste his muse's time. Secondly, he takes pictures. Attaining the red light in painting 8 by putting a toolbox on the car's brake in front and using a torchlight to gain the white light from his phone, clever tactics are used to achieve the ultimate composition. Lastly, Bo sketches the final product on paper and uses the traces to project the sketch onto the canvas, ready to be painted. Most paintings are minimal in information, leaving up the imagination of the viewer to digest it later. A creative process transposed to the viewer, just as a great book or movie does.
For his newest series, Bo will portray masculine traits regarded as toxic in present society. Yet, some masculine characteristics are not inherently wrong but essential to protect or comfort dear ones. This concept will be explored in western-themed paintings where the primal-male elements are at their purest.

Collective Post - Studio visit #5: Trust the process
Collective Post - Studio visit #5: Trust the process
Collective Post - Studio visit #5: Trust the process


Collective Profile - @roline


Love discovering new artists through your visits! 🙏
2 months ago·
Collective Profile - @skredatle


Thank you!
2 months ago·
Collective Profile - @sol


2 months ago·