In the Reign of King Harad IV – Alex Boyd & Yuri Zupancic

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In the Reign of King Harad IV Jewelry by Alex Boyd and Miniature Paintings by Yuri Zupancic

Opening Reception: Dec. 7th, 2013 7-10pm

Exhibition: Dec 7th, 2013-January 4th, 2014


The title of the final exhibition for 2013 at Leon is inspired from a short story by Steven Millhauser that was published in the New Yorker on April 10, 2016. In the Reign of King Harad IV is a story of a maker of miniatures who is celebrated for the uncanny perfection of his work. Over time the Master becomes restless and obsessed with making things smaller, and smaller until one day, no one can see his creations any more and the kingdom thinks he is mad. Alex Boyd and Yuri Zupancic are also masters of making things miniature, one through his metalsmithing, the other by painting masterpieces on microchips.

Alex, is a celebrated jewelry artisan who has been creating for over ten years and is the nephew of famed jeweler, Michael Boyd. Michael gave Alex his first set of tools and has taught Alex throughout the years. Alex is grateful for the opportunity his uncle has given him and has been qualified to teach as his assistant at workshops across the United States. Alex Boyd’s jewelry work goes far beyond wearable gems, his works are sculptures in the miniature using precious gems and metals. In all of Alex’s pieces, a passionate care has been lavished on the smallest and least visible of details. Over 50 new works will be created exclusively for this opening and will be on display and for sale through the 4th of January.

Yuri Zupancic is a self taught painter, assemblage artist, and performance artist. While some artists are using computers to create digital art, Yuri chooses to use the microchips within these computers as his canvas. “Computers provide ways to share passionate thoughts, yet the hardware itself seems cold and sterile … so I paint life into it.” Yuri’s paintings on microchips are an attempt to broaden our perspective of modern electronics and acknowledge their position as extensions of the mind and its sentimental qualities. Yuri uses oil paint and his own eyelashes (and others that collectors have begun to mail to him) to create the brushes used to paint these miniatures. Yuri is racing against his own medium…as microchips become smaller and smaller, so too does his paintings. For his exhibition at Leon, Yuri will be displaying over 25 masterpiece paintings on microchips. Viewers will have the opportunity to explore these works of art with magnifying glasses provided by the artist.

Artist Statement:

Alex Boyd: My work is a meditation on materials and their limits. An interaction between my hands, metal, stone and the wearers body. All pieces are produced by hand using techniques that are centuries or even millennia old. In an increasingly computerized world I take solace in being an anachronism. Objects formed from human hands contain an energy and dynamism unobtainable through any other means, as if the object is charged by its maker. The medium of jewelry and its inherent proximity to the wearers body is, for me, the most effective means of communicating that energy. An energy expressed through the languages of color, form and texture.

Yuri Zupancic: “Smaller and Faster” has replaced “Bigger and Better” as the leading catchphrase of commodities. I reflect this with my miniature paintings on microchips. From wild plants and animals to human tools and portraits, the range of subjects is diverse. I seek poetic images which raise questions and strike metaphorical chords when painted on microchips -the building blocks of the digital age.

The biggest frontier I see today is where nature and technology overlap. Mankind and our extensions (i.e. computers, cities) are essentially natural occurrences, thus move and evolve in the same dynamic patterns as the rest of the world. My paintings on microchips are an attempt to broaden our perspective of modern electronics and acknowledge their position as extensions of the mind and its sentimental qualities.

Photography by: Amanda Tipton