This intimately scaled portrait of four surfers showcases the artist's deft application of indigenous Indonesian craft forms. De Boer studied these techniques extensively in Java, Indonesia—the region of his family’s origin. The painting is based on a photo of some of the earliest Indonesian surfers, taken in 1976 by photographer Wayan Sudirka. The figures are rendered on linen using the batik technique, where a wax resist is applied to create patterns and designs during the process of dyeing cloth. The composition is framed in elegant hand-carved teak wood, embellished with a traditional meandering floral motif.
Over the past decade, Los Angeles-based artist Adam de Boer has studied the indigenous crafts of his family’s Dutch-Indonesian heritage. His work combines traditional Javanese crafts, such as batik and wood carving, with Western modes of oil painting. De Boer adapts Javanese craft forms to capture the cultural hodgepodge of present-day Los Angeles while maintaining a strong connection to his own immigrant heritage.
Over the past decade, Adam de Boer’s work has combined traditional Javanese crafts, such as wood carving and batik, with Western modes of oil painting. His urban scenes explore the visual textures, cultural minglings and socioeconomic realities of contemporary urban life. De Boer’s work depicts the cultural hodgepodge that is Los Angeles while maintaining a strong connection to his own Dutch-Indonesian immigrant heritage.