We were going through the barbed wire when a machine gun started. I kept walking until I saw my head lying on the ground.
“My God, I’m dead,” my head said.
And my body fell over.
The paintings in this series reflect the collective ambivalence that I see in today’s body politic. The materials I use are real: paper milled from the discarded uniforms of soldiers, chalk that crumbles and falls away from the canvas, and frames crafted from wood that is splintered, rotten and repurposed. These paintings are meant to be bold, messy and complicated. Willamette University curator Jonathan Bucci describes my work in this way: “In his process-driven art, Boulay uses art historical and literary references to create artworks that engage the deeply relevant issues of political dialog in contemporary American society.” I would only add that we stand on the shoulders of giants and the references that I make in this series – to those who have died in battle, to the striking sanitation workers in Memphis, and to the genius of artists like Glenn Ligon – are meant to be honorific and respectful.