Artist Crys Yin transitioned into painting full time around three years ago. California-born, New York-based Crys describes her style as “odd, absurd and physical”, with comical elements “even when the overall mood is meant to be somber or detached”. For the artist, the more nonsensical the better and she pulls from real-life experiences, from childhood memories to everyday occurrences, to inspire her simple paintings. “For instance, one of my paintings is based on a reoccurring dream I had for years and years, and another is something I saw walking home the other day,” explains Crys.
Her works depict almost banal scenes of table tops, day-to-day grooming and supermarket aisles, but in each one there’s added details like a container of butts or crocodile shoes, elevating the ordinary into the almost surreal. When starting a painting Crys writes down or sketches out ideas when they come to her. “If I overhear a ridiculous conversation or suddenly remember something that happen 20 years ago, I make a note to explore it later,” she says. “In the studio, I choose one of those ideas and loosely draw it out on this specific paper I love. From there, it’s just visualising colours in my head and applying paint, adding detail as I go.”
Crys shifts between painting, drawing and making sculptures and feels working between all three keeps her “mind and hands loose”. “Drawing feels precise, painting is more fluid and sculpting feels really relaxed,” she explains. Though the narratives in her paintings remain fairly ambiguous, Crys feels they function as personal works that many can relate to. “My work is the visualisation of my own life story, but there are pieces that almost anybody can identity with,” she says. “Whether it be physical objects we had as children or that feeling of discovering the strangeness of your own body for the first time – I like the idea of building a sense of connectedness.”
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