Portrait of the Artist

Crys Yin

The Art of Overindulgence

By Noelani Kirschner | May 18, 2020
<em>Meat No. 13</em>, 2019, water-based crayon on paper, 60 1/4 x 84 inches.
Meat No. 13, 2019, water-based crayon on paper, 60 1/4 x 84 inches.

Crys Yin grew up surrounded by printed works on paper in her childhood house and sought to become a painter, but quickly discovered that something didn’t feel right. “It wasn’t until I really struggled with canvas that I realized that that’s just not how I relate to painting,” Yin says. “Paper feels like home.”

Now, Yin works with acrylic and oil gloss, which she brushes onto thin paper with strokes that are at once precise and gestural. Her most recent body of work, Room for Salivation at A.I.R. Gallery in New York, explores the idea of cravings and the shame that sometimes accompanies our yearning for food. “These large-scale drawings are created with really greasy, highly-saturated water-based crayons,” Yin says, “which are the perfect medium for salivating.”

Yin favors primary colors in bold hues that jump out at the viewer. As someone who likes to represent human nature with absurdist imagery, Yin simultaneously attracts and repulses audiences through her paintings. But her work also helps viewers confront their innate desires honestly. “I recognize that my work can be confusing or uncomfortable for them,” she said. “And that can vary from the cultural, emotional, comical subjects of my work to just my physical existence as an artist.”

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