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Reality Undone

Museum Link:

Source Link:

Date Minted:  October 5, 2020

Artist Description: One of my eariler handcut collage creations (2005), now digitized and tokenized.  

CohentheWriter’s Commentary:

“George Boya is a Greece-based freelancer collage artist and illustrator. He studied Interior Design, Art Conservation & Restoration. His artworks blur the lines between collage, painting, stained glass techniques and photography. He visually deconstruct[s] parts of the real world that we normally think of as stable in order to create a new balanced collage compositions.” There! That last sentence, that’s the key! It doesn’t take so long digging through artist George Boya’s various bios before something like this comes up, the codex to unlocking his entire hyper-specific and ultra-prodigious crypto art career. The self-proclaimed collage artist is a master of shapes. In nearly all of his pieces across all manner of platforms, images we would normally consider cohesive and stagnant are imbued with new form, new movement, new life, and new energy by the seemingly-simple act of breaking them down into pieces. Of course, it’s not that simple. A human face becomes countless interlocking polygons, composed of many different textures and colors. A pointing human body in Glorious Ammon becomes a sequence of dozens of swirling ribbons and overlapping circles. And here, in Reality Undone, George Boya does exactly as his title suggests: He breaks into pieces an object we wouldn’t normally think of as anything but holistic, though in this case, Boya’s subject —a Pegasus of Ancient Greek legend— is unreal to begin with. So then Boya is not only deconstructing the world around us, but deconstructing the world of assumptions and allusions we make internally. With Reality Undone, it’s your and my realities, the subconscious ones we barely even consider, that the artist has somehow wormed his way into and broken apart. Are we the better for it? That’s for each of us to decide ourselves (some of us may not like a little man messing around in our heads). But is crypto artistry the better for his inimitable style? Uhm…yes.

Because look at what this artist is able to do with such a simple premise: Pegasus standing on a rock is elevated to highest level of Sistine Chapel artistry, appearing like a collage and a stained glass triumph all at once. There, in the center of the image, is the Pegasus itself, calling our attention with its brilliant palette of white and royal blue and turquoise set against a mostly brown and red and black background. Split into something like ninety individual polygons, it is a mishmash not only of color and shape but of texture as well. Some sections of the animal appear to be cut out of a separate magazine image of running water. The Pegasus’ face is a shining sun. Within it is all the majesty of its position, its strength, its straining neck bent backwards as if it’s been sculpted by an ancient master and placed atop a pedestal. Underneath it, brown stone crackling with reds and lava-like oranges. A small river alongside it looks like the waving blue sheets High School drama clubs use on-stage to denote water, where the crew hides inside the fabric and swishes it around to create the appearance of a current. In the distance, a sun split into segments: red, orange, yellow. In the distance, a black sky that seems to have been clawed open; images from yet another world lie behind it, once again giving this piece the appearance of a stage show with a curtain and a set, and once again making good on the piece’s title. Reality Undone in every way the artist could conceive.

The truth is that I’m not a good enough writer to encapsulate even a fraction of this piece in the measly amount of space I’ve allotted myself. Boya’s artwork is too dense, the mastery of color and shape so great, and yet still only a segment itself of the artist’s genius. That said, the compositional ability speaks for itself. What is less readily available is the actually undoing of reality, one which, keeping with the theater allegories, reminds me of Hamlet. When I was first taught that play in High School, I was taught it in the pretty standard way: story, To be or not to be, Shakespeare’s soliloquies, etc. In college, I found my way back to it, and my professor was adamant that Shakespeare hadn’t just created a wonderful play, but a true modernist masterpiece. After all, Hamlet is a story about slow insanities, and within Hamlet are all sorts of discrepancies of time and place and personage. Personalities change suddenly, and time seems to stand still as much as it races by. The entire world of the play seems to be a recreation of Hamlet’s poor, troubled head. The gist is that it’s impossible to trust anything there, character or author or location or situation, because the entire conceit of the narrative itself is unreliable.

Likewise, Boya takes every opportunity to rip this piece apart, to break reality open at the seams. Known images are fragmented into almost-unrecognizability. Small facets of different worlds seem to literally converge upon the frame, at so many points —via texture mostly— seeming to reveal different artistic worlds behind the frame, so that the image, as mentioned, appears almost like a set dressing. The reality of the piece is an amalgam of all these half-composed realities. It’s collage taken to a new level, given mythos. Boya is just so knowing, even predictive. Like, for instance, with his use of colors correlating good and evil. Gandalf’s white; Mordor’s red and black. But we know that we can’t trust all of what we see. We know it’s in the process of breaking down. We know that George Boya is a gifted anticipator of what we think and see and allude to. Boya asks us, nay forces as at gunpoint, to set down those anticipations. “Don’t bring your reality in here,” he seems to say. “Leave it by the door, or you’ll leave me no choice but to take it from you by force.”

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