A little detour from the usual local fare this week, as we randomly select a rad renaissance-type modern art person from out of the blue. To mark the end of the year (or really, nothing in particular), here’s to the blossoming of a certain Brandon Boyd: rocker, lyricist, voice of the world-touring Incubus, and previously closeted painter-man.
Humbly aspiring to be “thought of as a multimedia artist”, here’s a spiritual surfer dude who’s a proper triple threat: he’s a poet with a pen, onstage, and now, in schmancy art galleries too.
Age does wonders to drive already proven artists to gracefully ease them out of youth and into creative maturity. With the multi-skilled maelstrom Brandon Boyd, most known for his vocal, lyrical and performing exploits with his Californian rock band of brothers, Incubus, finally branching out into other forms is the probably the truest path once you’ve done the whole circus a few times round.
The solo album in 2010 started the ball rolling: after five studio albums, the record was made for the first time without the aid of his childhood friends/bandmates, and a new band, Sons Of The Sea, was setup with historied rock producer Brendan O’ Brien, issuing a self-titled EP, commemorating another non-Incubus recording. With those climaxed and orgasmically out of the system, it was onto the book to pacify another urge: So The Echo (Endophasia), was published in 2013, complete with spoken word edition on iTunes, Amazon and Barnes & Noble, naturally.
Selling prints and solo exhibitions, most recently on Miami Beach’s Art Basel space this month, has become his main expressive preoccupation, another arty dream manifested. Even single prints, like the typically-titled “Terrestrials”–a canvas painting of what looks like the Three Muses (or just three very cool-looking, topless turquoise chicks hanging out)–and the obligatory appearances command rock star attention.
Through Boyd’s art, all of his mediums cross and are never estranged: snippets and couplets of lyrics sure to appear in future Incubus albums or poetry books often adorn his print work as a classy last touch, dabbed on in the squiggly handwritten font all his own. Side fixations (alien life-forms, thinking with one’s third eye, new ways of seeing/tasting/touching/talking about everything) are still represented in the artwork, as longtime observers would notice.
Then there’s the manner of speaking, and the body language which bears all signs of the idealised Artist, and the witty writing style–in album liner notes, in spontaneous online sweet nothings to followers, on paintings–which only serve to seamlessly prolong his original storytelling in the professional work, the lyrics and the poetry books. With Boyd’s visuals, signature strokes have long been familiar to Incubus listeners thanks to the various shared glimpses of logo ideas, merch designs and tattoo motifs.
Even if Incubus really weren’t active and such activity was merely a reaction to the inactivity with the day job (the band are indeed gearing up a new album for release in 2016), what else would the guy do?
Who knows or really cares why Boyd, or his work, isn’t more talked about in art circles the world over. What matters is artists like him are around and are bothered to do stuff. It’s similar to the guy from Linkin Park putting up slick graffiti works in a heritage museum several years ago, a common escape outlet for modern LA rockers really into their art. Though Boyd’s artistic identity never sat quietly with being lumped in with the millennial new metal fad which his band had come through.
Just to give new converts a nuanced whiff of what he’s about, here is Boyd waxing fantastical about his dream space to show in and the future-forward methods with which to show with (creative commons copyrighted here, so Malaysian plagiarists and rip-off artists be warned), as told to Paper City Magazine on September 22, 2015: “Virtually projected into people’s dreams in high-definition 3-D via a subcutaneous injection that was one part AI nano-zip drive, one part low-grade ayahuasca and two parts love.”
“…They could interact with the imagery in dream-time but be experiencing the dream with about 85 percent lucidity. The 15 percent chaos factor would leave just enough room for the artwork to interact back and/or seduce the dreamer. The liability insurance on this project alone would be comical, but it could be an interesting way to reach people in a more undistracted and absorbent state of mind. I’m sort of kidding—but now that I’m saying it out loud, I’m sort of not kidding.“
He’s an ethereal dude with an itch to create organic canvases and flowing poetry, and a bit of a healthy sci-fi thing going there. An established singer still, always, with something to say, and now an artist with more to show, with no doubt something more to offer to any old soul canny enough to keep up and seek it out.
Share in the vibey love of newest works and whims by Brandon Boyd, multimedia artist, here.