Sean Shim-Boyle
April 16 - May 21, 2016
Los Angeles

THIEF (fairytale)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Jack is a young boy living with his widowed mother and a dairy cow as their only source of income. When the cow stops giving milk, Jack’s mother tells him to take it to the market to be sold. On the way, Jack meets an old man who offers “magic beans” in exchange for the cow, and Jack makes the trade. When he arrives home without any money, his mother becomes furious, throws the beans on the ground, and sends Jack to bed.


During the night, the magic beans cause a gigantic beanstalk to grow, which Jack climbs to a land high in the sky. When Jack finds an enormous castle, he breaks in. Soon after, the castle’s owner, a giant, returns home. He senses that Jack is nearby, and speaks a rhyme:

thief-450pxFee-fi-fo-fum!I smell the blood of an Englishman,Be he alive, or be he dead,I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.


When the giant falls asleep Jack steals a bag of gold coins and makes his escape down the beanstalk.


Jack climbs the beanstalk twice more. He learns of other treasures and steals them when the giant sleeps: first a goose that lays golden eggs (the most common variant is a hen; compare the idiom “to kill the goose that laid the golden eggs.”), then a harp that plays by itself. The giant wakes when Jack leaves the house with the harp and chases Jack down the beanstalk. Jack calls to his mother for an axe and before the giant reaches the ground, cuts down the beanstalk, causing the giant to fall to his death. Jack and his mother live happily ever after with the riches that Jack stole.[1]


1. “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 31 March 2016. Web. 2 April 2016.


Sean Shim-Boyle (b. 1986) holds a BFA from California Institute of the Arts and an MFA from the University of California Los Angeles. Various Small Fires is pleased to present THIEF, the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. The exhibition further develops Shim-Boyle’s use of social narratives affiliated with childhood as a means to critically dissect and redress contemporary guidelines of morality. He has had solo exhibitions at LAXART, Los Angeles, SIGNAL, Brooklyn, NY, and Project Row Houses in Houston, TX. He was a 2013 recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant.


Wagley, Catherine. “An Artist Puts a Dark Spin on ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’.” LA Weekly May 11 2016 | | PDF |