Many of you have written to me asking: “What is boxART?” Even though I have a website that addresses this new art concept, I am now opening another channel of communication with the aim of education. This channel is called boxART Forum.
Here is my first answer to those who are curious.
Today’s answer is: boxART is about Existence and Existence in boxART’s language is life and death. Let us return to my first boxART initiative where I invited a local amateur artist to contribute toward my project.
Her name is Gwen Szulklaper and she is a resident of the state of Victoria in Australia.
During the course of our discussion about boxART, she revealed to me how some of her relatives were prisoners of a Nazi concentration camp.
She was one of the lucky ones because her parents managed to come to Australia. She had an education in Australia but spends her time, creating art, visually. We decided on a special project on wood canvas.
Szulklaper’s work is the best example of boxART. As I reflect on my life, I can remember death is close. There is no way to avoid death although we celebrate birthdays. Have we thought about celebrating our own day of death?
boxART reminds us, firstly, that we were born without our consent because we have no conscience of consent as nothing like that has ever appeared before time. But when the time came, we came into being, thus life.
boxART is a reminder that now that we are in the form of humans, we therefore exist. Whether we exist because we are in form or we are out of form, it is inconsequential, as we remember (when we see in the mirror), there is somebody who has a name, and it is me or you or us.
Collectively, we remind each other that we exist because someone else existed before us: thus the scope of humanity. However, we also know (like what Szulklaper tells us), that life can be painful or it can also be cut short.
So, in boxART we have a box to begin. This box would probably be also our coffin. Many cultures do not have a box to place our dead bodies. Some prefer to cremate dead bodies. Some bodies disappear. Some are cut into pieces and become another creature’s meal. boxART tells us that life is not permanent; on the contrary, death is.
What can we expect about boxART when it is a reminder about death? Isn’t that what life is all about? Life has no meaning without death. Death brings us to something we can never conceive but imagine. In the meanwhile, whether we experience joy or sadness, our being proves Existence and while we live, we can also die at any moment.
When we conceived of a box, it is with the idea that life isn't two dimensions (2D); life is actually an experience of welcoming death (3D). The underlying concept in boxART is anticipation. Tragic as it may be, we never expected a submarine to break into three pieces causing grief to everybody who feels.
I was working in a national art gallery once. There was a famous painting and my job was not to allow patrons to touch the painting. I spend one hour each day in the gallery and the next five days in the same gallery. All I could do, was watch the painting. Do you get bored after a while imagining everything about the painting for 293 days a year?
Now, what if the painting could be brought down from the wall? Could I see the painting from the back? Could I touch the painting? Could I play and interact with the painting?
I imagine the Mona Lisa filled my thoughts each hour a day for 293 days. What story does it tell me? Now, imagine the same painting in four different versions. Can I stretch my imagination further?
Suppose I want to enjoy coffee outside and bring the painting with me. Can I do that? Suppose I want to bring more than one painting? Can I do that too?
Do I have to be careful with the painting or paintings when I carry them or are the paintings durable?
How many paintings can I view at once? Many or singly or clustered in a group? Do I get a different story with each new way of seeing the painting or paintings?
Have you wondered about a surprise birthday party when a cake is wheeled in? Can you imagine bringing a collection of boxARTs for a presentation to children?
Isn't the park a fantastic way to explore boxART with children? How do we carry many of the exhibits? Can children play with boxART? Can we teach them something about creation? What if one of the boxART was designed by one of the children? Would it stir excitement among the rest of the children?
Isn't boxART a way to start a conversation on any topic?
What is simpler than a box that is colourfully designed and effectively constructed?
One of the paintings on the trolley can be hung on the contraption and it becomes a mechanical device (pulley). Can a static painting do that? Can boxART bridge the physical with the intellect?
Another boxART on this trolley can be hung on a hook and a child is encouraged to lower or raise the box like a lift? Isn't that a learning thing for children? And the best news of all: Your Painting is reproduced on one of the boxes too like all the boxes you see represented on the trolley by INTERNATIONAL boxART artists.