Featured Artist John Borys

Artsy Shark is very pleased to present the fascinating portfolio of American Contemporary Artst, John Borys. See more of his work by visiting his website and blog.

Line As Subject, Recent Work, John Borys, American Contemporary Artist

Line is everything.

We perceive the world through edges. Edges give boundary and shape to our universe. Lines punctuate one object in space from another. The horizon line keeps us in balance. We are increasingly conditioned to see the world as a grid.

Everyday we experience a sea of mechanical lines– Maps, letters, signs, text messages, stock scrolls, wires, highways, spreadsheets, skyscrapers, and of course representational art.   Our typical experience with the drawn line is swamped by representational and symbolic uses.

I want to get past line just looking like something or literally saying something.

The emotional quality and the essence of line is what this work is about.

#560, 47″ x 35 1/2″, 2010
, Acrylic on Canvas
, [email protected]

#561, Unharvested, 35″ x 26 1/2″, 2010, Acrylic on Canvas, [email protected]

What are your goals?

A few of my goals would be to further my exposure to specific galleries that focus on cutting edge contemporary work and continue to expand my patron base globally. I am also seeking art representatives that have a background in art history to represent me in select markets within the US and abroad.

#564, 93 1/2″ x 42″, 2010, 
Acrylic on Canvas, [email protected]

What inspires you?

Work that is unique, that is different and creates a new visual vocabulary inspires me. I am trying to push the envelope, create a new direction, a new “ism.” Artists now have the opportunity to really see a broad variety of work from all over the world- I explained this in more detail in another interview.  The more you see, the more you can take in, throw away, ponder and explore yourself.  A proper education on the history of art is extremely important also. As an artist you have to see where we (artists) have been in order to forge new ground and push the boundries. de Kooning said we  (artists) are part of a legacy that is connected and continues to the next generation of artists. You are either part of the continuum – forging a new visual vocabulary or regurgitating what someone else has already covered and explored. I am trying to pick up where de Kooning left off from his late works as a starting point for my exploration of line and gesture. Please see below, this was one of the first pieces I created from where de Kooning’s late work left off.

Acrylic on Canvas
74″ x 45″ 2008
, [email protected]

Influences or comparisons to my work from what viewers have said, would be the late works of de Kooning, Frank Stella and Brice Marden. I also admire the recent works of artists such as Mehretu, Tomás Maldonado, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Katharina Grosse, David Reed, Christopher Wool, and David Row.

#562, Diptych, 32″ x 16″, 2010, 
Acrylic on Canvas, [email protected]

What about technique?

Techinique is a means to an end. If it helps the artist better communicate the idea, great.  If not – get rid of it. Technique is not art.

, Acrylic on Canvas
, 93 1/4″ x 42 1/2″ 2009, 
Private Collection, U.S.

Artist Statement

A painting may start out with a well planned idea or no real clear direction at all. In either case, during the “process” of creation, a concept becomes visual and tangible. Like it or not, the artist’s understanding of art history and the artist’s awareness of the current avant garde are also factors.

And finally, there is the painting itself.

I am interested in the visual dialogue between all of these. In the end, artistic judgment and the ability to listen with your eyes to what the painting is saying, trusting the painting, following its rhythm and working in tandem with it, is where the artist and art become one.

I would like to thank Carolyn Edlund for her interview, all the best in your endeavours with Artsy Shark.


  1. this is gorgeous

  2. I used to be very preoccupied with ‘technique’ – ie that I didn’t have it because I hadn’t been to Art School. But I’ve gradually come to the realisation that what John says on the subject is absolutely spot on!

  3. So glad to have come across this. Insightful, pushing me to imagine beyond & more. Thank-you

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