This street scene depicts a portion of Sunset Boulevard that runs through Hollywood. At first glance, this city block can appear fairly nondescript. Upon closer inspection, it provides a poetic summary of Los Angeles. Icons of the city’s visual environment populate the image, such as a billboard ad outsized by a massive palm tree. In the background, the historic Griffith Observatory can be seen atop the hazy hills. In the foreground, figures idle outside a cafe called “Dreams” while a red mustang zooms by a Ferrari mechanic. This exchange alludes to the idea of “making it” in Los Angeles—depicting the American dream as a yearning for monetary success.
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.