The Slightly Askew Hyperrealism of Rosalyn Bodycomb

Rosalyn Bodycomb’s hyperrealistic oil-on-linen paintings offer acute observations of daily life and the natural world. Often rendered from off-kilter perspectives, her highly detailed compositions possess a deeply grounded sense of place, which helps bring the prosaic scenes sharply into focus.

At CK Contemporary, paintings such as Brooklyn Diner (2015), Gene’s Po-Boy (2014), and Brooklyn Food Truck (2015) take as subjects the service lulls at American eateries. Other compositions, such as L9 House #1417 (2014) and Nola Duplex #2656 (2015), focus on quiet scenes as well, including those of boarded-up bungalows and sleepy duplexes. 

The New York–based artist’s detailed work is the result of sustained, patient observation underpinned by a lush color palette and a meticulous focus on technique. At first glance, the paintings hover somewhere between photorealism and contemporary academic realism. Yet the realism in her work is frequently coupled with a slightly askew angle. Along with the rich application of color, this unique perspective plays with depth and distance, often culminating in a delicious convergence of hyperrealism and painterly abstraction.

In DC Metro V1 (2014), for instance, sweeping swaths of canary yellow and neon green lend a sense of visceral motion and realism to the scene of high-speed transit. At the same time, the rich streaks of color can be taken as pure abstractions on their own. The same goes for the undulating body of water in Coney Island I (2009). Frothy seafoam collides with the gently rolling arc of a murky green wave, all below a violet canopy of open ocean and sky. As in much of Bodycomb’s work, the image is at once an exceptionally realistic rendering of the natural world and an abstract study in color, form, and perspective.


—Grace-Yvette Gemmell


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