|Michael Boles, Harlequin, 2009. Aluminum, copper, |
onyx, and malachite. 48" x 80" x 1." Private collection.
We make art to affirm our own existence and finiteness. Yet, when we experience loss in life, we are catapulted into a renewed sense of what is truly finite in this world. With loss, the boundaries of life are brought to the foreground, and we are forced to reflect on our lives and on our work. Sometimes I feel the more art I make the less I understand it.
For me, making art is not about selling work, but it is about diving into the philosophies of art and life in such a way that questions everything I thought I knew. To continue down my path of image-making requires fortitude that I am not always sure I possess. I love what I do, but it torments me.
Making abstract art can drive one crazy. It is a hard place to go, constantly exploring with nothing to support yourself but pencil, paper, and desire. I know now that certain symbols, such as hearts, flags, and human figures, are important in my work as they keep me out of the abyss in some way. They provide me with the boundaries that are not always obvious in life.
Traditionally, art would be an extension of ourselves into the future, but contemporary directions attempt to deny that as being significant. In the past, it was physical artwork that created one's legacy. Art defined who you were and shaped your history. Unlike many of the sensationalist artists of today, who live only for the money they can make in the present moment, I still believe it is a function of art to affirm our existence and to respond to the edges of life.