Artist Eric Joyner's new paintings of robots and doughnuts pay homage to David Hockney, Rudolph and Frosty
San Francisco-based artist Eric Joyner is known for his fantastical paintings of Japanese robots and colourful doughnuts in all kinds of landscapes from the Age of Dinosaurs to the bottom of the ocean.
Both playful and surreal, his work has been licensed by the likes of Disney, Warner Brothers, and the hit HBO show Silicon Valley, and is said to "depict the tenuous conflict between children’s toys and adulthood as a portrait of another reality."
In his latest series, Machine Man Memories, Joyner gives us 18 new oil paintings that pay homage to David Hockney but also bring to life some non-robotic figures such as Frosty the Snow Man, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Wizard of Oz, and a dragon.
"The first paintings were inspired by people I met, some locally and some from new friends in China," says Joyner. "I later found inspiration in American illustrators such as N.C. Wyeth, Michael Whelan and the brothers Hildebrandt as well as fine artists Grant Wood and David Hockney. I was distracted by the 1953 movie War of the Worlds and one night I dreamt a white cat came to me and whispered in my ear to paint snowmen. As fate would have it, my friend Lou Lima brought me some snowmen figures to paint. The rest, as they say, is history."
Born in San Mateo, California, a suburb of San Francisco, Eric Joyner's childhood was filled with reading comics, playing sports, and going to school, as well as drawing and painting. He began to take painting lessons after being inspired by a visit to the De Young's Van Gogh exhibit in San Francisco. He went on to attend the Academy of Art and the University of San Francisco, establishing himself as a commercial artist, creating illustrations for Mattel Toys, Levi's, Microsoft and Showtime.
A member of San Francisco Society of Illustrators and New York Society of Illustrators, Joyner has been an instructor and speaker at San Francisco's Academy of Art University and California College of the Arts. His work has been featured in the San Jose Museum of Art's exhibition Robots: Evolution of a Cultural Icon, and he has shown in numerous galleries and cultural institutions worldwide.
You can see Machine Man Memories in Eric Joyner's first major solo show at Downtown Los Angeles' Corey Helford Gallery from 7 March 2020.