Lowell Boyers, artist

Like tectonic plates slowly shift the ground we walk on, continued exposure and interaction with the arts, when they’re good, can move and change our perceptual space. The painting becomes a mirroring device that reflects our inner sight of the world we live in. In historical painting we are asked to look through a window or to strictly take the object as something to be understood strictly on its own material merits. That’s no longer as interesting as embracing a greater thought of interconnectedness of all thought and material. I often think of Carl Sagan’s commentary about the universe being a great teeming storm of light and matter and only invisible currents of electromagnetic energy barely holds our perceptual world together: the glass appears to sit on the table, our feet touch the stone floor, we don’t fall through the center of the earth…I think the creative imagination also holds our perceptual world together like a great net we throw over our meaningful lives trying to encompass as much as we can…or as little, I suppose. 

I think about that in my own investigations with my work. I stretch to see the world not only experienced by my fleshly self but also encompassing the textures of time, history, emotion, dreams, and the creative imagination. Art making, like living, for me, is an alchemical practice. I see the self like an oozing thing, a vaporous, affective thing, that pushes and presses into the perceptive selves of others. Making paintings is an invitation to create some silent alchemy, some changing. Small or big, if the viewer is willing to engage, to cross the threshold I provide, something’s going to happen. 

A lot of people ask about the narrative elements of my work, but I don’t see the work in relations of beginnings and endings so much. They’re more like poems than novels or short stories. They’re not stories as much as in-between moments captured without the artifice of self imposed boundaries like body, function, usefulness. I try to portray the self in various states of Liberty, capturing the texture of acknowledgement of the fulsomeness of Being. It is the conflict, the dance, between the corporeal self, the knowledge that we are going to die, of the sensual, the limitation of the flesh and gravity, and the imaginative soul, the thing that makes us reach to the stars with our minds, that wonders and dreams, the sense of our connection to the Universe as a swirl of star stuff, that I’m interested in engaging with. The question about whether the mind is a garden or a cage or both is what I think about from painting to painting. Textures of meaning and mindful expansion of the perceptual self.

                                                                — Lowell Boyers



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