Internationally known Oregon artist, Frank Boyden first earned a national reputation as a ceramist, then as a sculptor and printmaker. Boyden’s suite of 21 prints, The Irreverences, Provocations & Connivances of UNCLE SKULKY, recounts the trials and adventures of the artist’s alter ego, Uncle Skulky. In this suite Uncle Skulky emerges from Boyden’s psyche as a skeleton reminiscent of those in Mexican art created for the Day of the Dead, and the haunting ghosts figured in Japanese eighteenth and nineteenth century woodblock prints. Boyden, like many European artists such as Holbein, Goya, Ensor, Redon and Rouault, is mindful of the futility of humankind’s struggles and vanitas when faced with the ineluctability of our mortality. With wit, charm, sarcasm, and a touch of vulgarity, the artist, in the guise of Uncle Skulky, pokes fun at contemporary society, current events and in general the plight of humanity. Boyden’s masterful handling of drypoint and spitbite lend an elegance and benevolence to the rambunctious escapades of Uncle Skulky.
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