Like the physical universe in which we live—immeasurable, mysterious, unfathomable—so too the personal universe each of us inhabits and like the physical realm, we have an innate longing to understand it. In their two-man exhibition, FADED BY THE SUN, Hampton Boyer and John Vitale explore the personal universe, contemplating the intimate relationship between consciousness and reality as well as pondering one’s own existence and the largeness of it.
As a source of inspiration and a vehicle for filtering ideas, Boyer and Vitale turned to National Geographic Magazine. Illustrational in style, Boyer’s compositions hint at imagery found in the magazine, albeit with a bit of humor and a pop-culture twist. His vibrantly hued paintings float on bright yellow walls, evoking the warmth and light of the sun as well as giving nod to the yellow border of the magazine’s iconic cover. For Vitale, the magazine itself becomes medium as well as representation of the ineffable nature of existence as each work’s layered composition emerges from the pages of a single issue of a bound magazine. Vitale notes that there is an element of time in the numbered pages, “individuals dissolving into environments while seeming to play with the ideas of experience and attachment” all the while moving forward in a state of wonderment.
Hampton Boyer is a Hampton Roads based artist whose works have been exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions. A self-taught artist, Boyer’s artistic endeavors manifest in illustrational style graphics, vibrant paintings and youthful murals. In 2014, Boyer cofounded 670 Gallery in Hampton, VA where he served as creative director. In addition to his gallery experience, Boyer has instructed graphic design courses at Hampton University as well as working with the Contemporary Arts Network. Since closing 670 Gallery, Boyer’s focus has been his artistic practice as well as honing his curatorial skills with Thank You Gallery in Norfolk, VA.
John Vitale is a Minneapolis, MN based visual artist. His work has been exhibited in New York, Miami, Chicago, Brooklyn, Portland, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Romania, and Scotland. A graduate of Parson’s School of Design, Vitale has worked as a published and exhibited photographer, a three dimensional designer directing creative projects for Louis Vuitton, Tommy Hilfiger, and Stella McCartney as well as received funding from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council to publish zines. After briefly curating pop-up events for VA MOCA, Vitale founded the Nobile & Amundsen Gallery in Norfolk, VA which closed in 2015. He is a practicing Vipassana meditator and works as an EMT on an ambulance.