interview with jonathan borofsky

Last November 6th, I drove less than one mile (a rare occurrence in Los Angeles) to meet Jonathan Borofsky at his Venice studio. Although he now resides in Maine, he was in Los Angeles to work with fabricators on large scale sculpture--some very large flying fish that by now have been delivered to their home in Atlantic City. When I arrived at his studio, incense was burning and he offered me chamomile tea.

It's been over ten years since Jonathan Borofsky's traveling exhibition (The Whitney, The Temporary Contemporary, etc.). I remember the immense expansion--artistically, psychologically, and spiritually--that I experienced when I walked into his exhibition at the Whitney Museum in 1985. The work felt alive, kinetic, personal, and inventive in a way that I and many of us, fresh out of the regional and more traditional art worlds of American high schools and colleges, had never before encountered ("us" meaning somewhere between Gen X and the baby boomers, let's just say "us," now early- or mid- thirtysomethings / -nothings).

In a culture so focused on youth, what does it mean to engage in a lifelong intimate relationship with our own creative processes? Jonathan Borofsky has always been an example to me of an artist who has a rich and deep inner life within his work that goes beyond art or any art trend. After meeting Borofsky, it became clear to me that he has just as much vitality today living a more internal existence in Maine as he did in the '80s when he was in the spotlight.

If all art is a self portrait as Jonathan Borofsky contends, then this expose is a self portrait. I've been a fan of Borofsky's work for over a decade. I am interested in those places where Borofsky the artist, teacher, and life traveler all commingle. The autobiographical nature of his work and his own personal openness both lend to such examination.