Sunday, July 9, 2017

Day 157: Ken Boe

Ken Boe is a member of the community of greater Bisbee Arizona. Previous to that, in Arizona, he's lived at Thought Crime in Phoenix, The Grand Canyon, waiting tables, and Miami Art Works in Miami Arizona, where he was a founding member of the open source-like Miami Loco Arts Festival. He also worked in Yellowstone National Park for over 20 seasons. Originally from Evanston Illinois, with one of the best public school arts programs in the country, he then attended the School Of The Art Institute of Chicago on scholarship, later graduating from SIUC. Ken Boe is an accomplished experimental painter, poet, and playwright.

"Here at my art compound, over looking Mexico, I've over a ton of art supplies of various natures that I work from. I'm engaged in what I call "Counter-Realism" which is kind of a spin on the term counter-intelligence. I see that we are constantly barraged with a lie, often called realism, in all facets of the modern consumer and aesthetic life. 

I deconstruct the techniques of common art practice, and digest them in my own ways. For instance, what is content? On a can of soup, it's the ingredients. In the arts, it's often assumed to be story. But story is just one ingredient. All the media, such as oil paint versa acrylic paint, are sentient content as much as "subject", though only the most experienced art collectors, curators, or artists consciously notice this. Unconsciously we probably all notice this. And then there are all the other techniques of an artist, as small as a particular way of holding the brush, or how I paint with a whip on occasion; these things, too, are part of a work's content. So how one approaches our societal myths of realism really give you away at this level of being an artist."

Show Down, Show River, Oil and Graffiti Marker on canvas 60X48 

"I have several art studios and places for writing poetry around my property. Like seasons, they have their own weather. Their own moods, their own materials, their own content. While it's all a bit of a mess, maybe that's the ambiguity that glues it all together. Here are a couple of related ideas:

1. Hang tight, sharp, perfectionist artwork on a rough crooked wall, such as an old brick wall. Hang rough chaotic artwork on a smooth wall, such as a new wall neatly drywalled and painted in an organized home or office.

2. Artwork should not be redundant with its environment. Do not have paintings of food at a restaurant, for instance. Artwork provides a kind of subconscious extension to the consciousness of an environment. It is an expansiveness, at least for bright people who will engage each other in that environment intellectually, emotionally, imaginatively. It is the synchronic vocabulary of our time together as the environment we share is the language we share."  

Ken Boe In Studio

"Over the last 30 years or so I've developed various original techniques, or techniques morphed out of various traditions, ideas, uses of materials, and processes. Some of these are series of works, you could say, in the natural pattern to focus within certain perimeters. Each of these has to go through its own evolution. The long view of this is that only after many years of these explorations will the higher level of evolution take place which I am entering now. That is the level of hybridizing all my previous techniques and materials projects, languages, and experimentation.

In this series I am building into permanent frames into a combination of plasters, sometimes experimental frescos, with found objects, shadow work, waxes and tree resins, and oil paints. I am not trying to tell the viewer what to see but create a portal for your own imagination. In this work it was interesting to witness much of the audience seeing a vagina, while others seeing a path or a portal."

Emergence, Fast and Slow from Shadow Effigy Series
"with this large canvas, I'm using my whip painting technique, which often gives a sense of "abstract-expressionism". Technically, I liken the whip painting as "action print making." Often done with oil paints, in this variation I actually whipped the canvas with a gluey "gesso-grosso" or plaster. Over this I applied a clear bees wax, and over that oil paint, which then is moved around with heat. The rest of the work is oil paint and graffiti marker. It is a hybridization of techniques on the way to where I am going as an artist, yet a significant work in its own right."

Mysterium Tremendum Oil, Encaustic, Gesso-Grosso and Graffiti Marker on Canvas, 60X48 

Ken Boe by Paintings
 "You can keep in touch with what I'm doing at If you are interested in my poetry, there is a podcast you can link to, you tube videos, and a fundraiser I am doing where you can contribute ideas to my poetry where I've also developed many of my own techniques and approaches to "content". Currently living on less than 300 dollars a month, your participation will go a long ways. If you've enjoyed my ideas so far, there is much more of my kind of thinking as you scroll down on the blog-like format. Feel free to contact me so we may continue the discussion. And please come visit Bisbee, one of the coolest places in the state of Arizona. You may also learn where I'm showing in Bisbee at my website." Ken Boe

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