The surreal world of Chris Boyko on view in Presidents Gallery this fall

Chris Boyko, "Knowing: calling, honor, television," 40" x 30", Oil on Canvas, 2021

Chris Boyko’s large-scale, surrealistic oil paintings will be on view Sept. 14 through Nov. 28 in Brenau University’s Presidents Gallery, located on the second floor of the Simmon’s Visual Arts Center. An artist’s talk and opening reception for the solo exhibition Assembling the Masses will take place from 5:30-7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept.14.

Chris Boyko, Fence: jaws, playground, animal, 30” x 40”, Oil on canvas, 2022

Gallery Director Gena Brodie Robbins describes Boyko’s artwork as an enthralling, colorful odyssey that emits a distinctive surrealistic essence. 

“Each vivid painting seamlessly combines organic and mechanical elements, creating a disquieting yet undeniably captivating atmosphere,” Robbins said. “This fusion distinctly positions Boyko’s work within the sphere of innovation in contemporary art. Even more remarkable is his prolific output, mirrored by his well-established style and consistent quality — identifying traits that take years to cultivate.”

Boyko said his paintings pull from the subconscious, revealing hidden realities within the human mind.

“The subconscious is constructed like a giant web, which, as a whole, creates an individual, Boyko said. “If one were to examine each individual piece, they would realize it’s composed of multiple ideas, memories and feelings which are constantly shifting. It’s this shift within our subconscious that changes our perception of reality. It’s why each of us can respond differently to a multitude of situations.”

Boyko’s art is not only unique due to its bright and colorful composition; he paints using automatic painting techniques, becoming meditative as he creates.

A headshot of Chris Boyko

“As I begin to follow the strings of the subconscious web, the organic forms develop within the painting – one form leads to another, like a trail of thoughts,” Boyko explains. “It’s as if my mind and the paint are in sync with each other. As I explore my own mind, gaining an understanding of myself, I’m also gaining an understanding of the forms.”  

Boyko received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in visual art from Kennesaw State University. He has exhibited in multiple exhibitions throughout his career, including at the prestigious Kibbee Gallery, Mason Murer, the Marietta Museum of Art, the Peachtree Branch Library (adjacent to the High Museum of Art), the Studio Door in San Diego, and the Life Force Arts Center in Chicago, among others. 

He has been featured in numerous online magazines, including ARTicul ACTION and Surrealism Today, and in print. Most recently, his work was featured in a multi-page spread in High Shelf XXXIV.

Boyko also strongly believes in using his work to aid the community. He volunteers and donates his artwork to numerous local charity art auctions, including the Hambidge Art Auction at the Goat Farm and Toy Party: For the Kid in All of Us, both based in Atlanta.