Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Statement–August 3, 2009, On the Heart Shape, first published in the catalogue "Michael Boles: The 2007-2009 Anna Lamar Switzer Endowed Teaching Chair"

Michael Boles, Armor Piercing, 2009. Aluminum, urethane, jasper, and acrylic.
46" x 80" x 1." Private collection.

The heart shape is a recurring theme in my work. I like the universality of the symbol; it lends itself to endless meanings when used in context with other shapes. We each have our own unique feeling about the shape, which makes it an ideal carrier of information. I don't use the symbol to express anything in particular such as love or affection; instead I use its universal appeal as a point of departure for compositions that redefine the meaning of the symbol itself.

Armor Piercing is a good example of how the heart shape has been co-opted as a vehicle of expression. Most consider the heart shape to be quite feminine for obvious and historical reasons. Armor Piercing, on the other hand, is quite masculine and phallic, and it suggests aggression, confrontation, and possibly violence. The contrast of these two ideas comes together to redefine each.

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