|Michael Boles, detail of Armor Piercing, 2009. Aluminum,|
urethane, jasper, and acrylic. 46" x 80" x 1." Private collection.
I have never thought of myself as a colorist. I know color, but I prefer to use it directly, aggressively, and as punctuation. Almost all of the works that I have done with color deal with physical properties, rather than the emotional effects that color can generate. The exception to this is Armor Piercing, in which I attempt to create a heightened sense of aggression with the color red.
When one looks at abstract painting, one has to deal with some form of transformation of an illusion into an understandable reality. The Abstract Expressionists were among the first to attempt to deny this transformation by insisting that what they were producing was only paint on a surface and nothing more. Most of Western society has almost fully embraced this concept, whether it is agreed with or not.
The relationship between color and abstract painting is obvious, however it remains two dimensional and illusional. The tantalizing thing about relief sculpture is that the illusion is gone; they are fundamentally what they are. They exist within our own reality and cannot be interpreted within the realm of illusion. This dichotomy created by utilizing "real" materials on a surface, which is usually reserved for painting, can be disconcerting and appealing at the same time. An additional element exists in conjunction with the surface. In the case of my reliefs, it is aluminum, stone, bronze, and other materials that make the composition. One's interpretation and/or appreciation of the work must come from some different place–generally from somewhere at least once removed from the aesthetic of painting.