P.P.O.W is proud to present “Blood Memory,” George Boorujy’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. In his expansive and finely observed drawings, Boorujy uses a trained naturalist’s eye to depict iconic North American animals and landscapes, presenting an intriguing vision of life on the continent that is at once foreign and familiar.
Since Paleolithic times we have used animals, not only for survival, but for symbolic and ritualistic purposes. Tracing a line from the cave paintings of Lascaux up to and through Audubon, there has been an impulse and desire to depict and understand animals. Though firmly rooted in scientific fact, the posturing of the animals in Boorujy’s work separates him from the traditional renderings of wildlife. These are not just observations of animals, but reckonings with them. The black doe in his work Blood Memory, has taken on a humanistic guise, functioning as a reminder of our own place within the animal kingdom.
These impeccably and immaculately painted portraits awaken our curiosities about each animal’s reality and emotional mapping. The narratives, which are first sculpted and then painted with ink, reveal intimate scenes of nature that are contextually surreal. In the exhibited work Initiate, a descending ram is doused with pollen. Whether it is by human hands as part of a ritual or by chance is not clear. These embedded details, which are subtly placed throughout Boorujy’s work, provide clues to the context of each animal’s life, routines and experience.
Boorujy challenges the viewer to confront both the animal and their preconceived notions about it. Through their gaze an interaction evolves with the wild that otherwise would have to be sought out or birthed from happenstance. However fleeting our exchanges with the wild are, an impression of their presence marks our memories. There is something mystical at play; a silent exchange that either moves us towards awareness or heightens our fear of the unknown.
George Boorujy was born in 1973 and raised in New Providence, New Jersey, and lives and works in Brooklyn. He attended the University of Miami intending to study marine biology. However, his art courses soon over-took his science concentration earning him a B.F.A in painting in 1996. After graduation he traveled North America eventually landing back in New York City where he studied at the School of Visual Arts, receiving his M.F.A in 2002. Boorujy has exhibited in the U.S. and abroad.