Culture Maker: Artist Rine Boyer
About 10 years ago, I exhibited some paintings at the Flatiron Arts Building, along with a few dozen artists working in a variety of media. I came across Rine Boyer and her distinct work through that show and felt an immediate need to surround myself with it. Thanks to benevolent family and friends, I managed to sell a few paintings and, with those meager profits, bought my first artwork: one of Rine’s paintings. It hangs in my kids’ playroom now and, if you can believe it, still brings me daily joy! In the year that followed, I was gifted two of Rine’s drawings, which are currently scattered around my apartment and doing their part to liven up the joint.
I’ve wondered so often about what Rine’s been up to, whether she’s still making art, etc. Well, all hail the social media gods! After a decade of living with her art, I recently found Rine on Instagram. She’s busier than ever and making large-scale paintings with bold color schemes and patterned figures, which are a defining feature of her work. She agreed to answer a few questions about her practice and what keeps her humming along.
Mom, meet Rine Boyer.
What do you do most days?
I work part time in my studio and part time at a software company - 20 hours each. On studio days I typically drop off my son at daycare in the morning and head to the studio with my two dogs down the street. I try to do whatever it is that requires the most thought first thing, and then slowly do easier things. Typically by 5pm I'm doing the most boring things like cleaning up or administrative tasks. Unless I'm on a deadline, then I'm frantically trying to get everything done I that I wanted to that day.
Do you have any daily rituals?
I always make a really strong cup of instant coffee when I get to the studio. I know it sounds gross, but tastes so delicious to me - like drinking really dark chocolate.
What are you currently working on?
Lately I've been working on canvas pieces with multiple figures in them. I've been interested in works on canvas lately because the boundaries created by the canvas force me to play with the group dynamics. With the cut-out figures it was more about each individual.
Who/What is inspiring you?
I've been loving Nina Chanel Abney with her strong colors and how she captures the current political climate with the figure. Her show at the Chicago Cultural Center is so good and will be up until May 6th.
What’s your favorite book? OR What should we be reading? Why?
I love listening to audiobooks when I'm drawing the shapes on top of figures. Lately I've been listening to The Empire of Things - it's pretty dry, but a really interesting look at our society from the perspective of the things we own. I also just started listening to Make Trouble by Cecile Richards who is the president of Planned Parenthood - so far it is a good story!
What music are you digging these days?
A friend clued me into the local band Melkbelly a little while ago who I have seen live a couple times and highly recommend. I also just downloaded the new HIDE album, which is pretty great. (See them at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago this summer)
What clothes are making you feel good?
I'm not as connected to the fashion world, so I like to find clothing and jewelry designers on Etsy where I can see where different things are made and support smaller businesses.
Any other favorite artists, poets, designers, or activists we should know about?
If you haven't been to the Zhou B Arts Center for 3rd Fridays, I highly recommend. The Zhou Brothers are two well-known Chinese artists who have created a community of artists in the Bridgeport neighborhood. I've had my studio there for about 8 years. Every 3rd Friday of the month we have an open house with performances, exhibitions, and open studios.
Finally, what’s your professional goal? OR What keeps you motivated in your work?
I find people endlessly fascinating, so trying to understand what is happening politically and culturally keeps me engaged and motivated. My end goal is to create work that captures the current moment in a way that feels a bit timeless. There are aspects of culture that change and aspects that more or less stay the same, so I try to get a balance of both in my pieces.