Interview: Peter Boya
Luca Curci talks with Peter Boya during THE EXTENDED BODY 2020 at THE LINE Contemporary Art Space.
I am a Bulgarian-born Canadian visual artist and independent design professional living and working in Montreal since 1993. I hold a Masters in Fine Arts and Design at the National Academy of Fine Arts of Sofia, and after many years of artistic practice across Europe in fields related to public art and the integration of the arts in architecture, my interests have led me to pursue further specialization in Computer Graphics and digital arts. For the last 20 years, I’ve been creating conceptual imagery. In my work, I am interested in a visual discourse combining physical realism and poetic imagery. Instead of training my eye on different objects, I prefer to examine a single object from all its facets until a new angle is discovered. Then, through analogy, the new idea is reinforced. My images superpose viewer expectations by always providing an immediate meaning while also offering an intended seconddegree subtext. The viewer engages in a substitution exercise beyond the figurative object towards a new frame of mind. It is the viewer’s role to reinstate that interpretation. 3D imagery and mix mediums are ideal for me because of their ability to bring the real and the imaginary into direct contact. I seek a visual discourse combining physical realism and figurative imagery in order to critically engage the viewer. Through my work, I attempt to communicate with the audience within a broader multicultural context. Through playful analogy, I aim to interpret our daily condition. My research runs up against limits and seeks to transgress them by stepping out of the conventional framework to open new territories. My work has been showcased in solo and group exhibitions in Europe, North America, South America and Asia, and has received numerous recognitions worldwide. I was a featured artist for the 2015 Art Venice Biennale in “Biennale Roadshow”, in Italy, as well as a selected artist for Canada’s cultural program “The Living City” at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, CHINA.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Peter Boya – For me, art is a means of communication. Following a personal internal need for creativity via sketching, sculpting, digital art, photography and mixed media, I search for a point of entry and a line of communication with the world surrounding me, through my inner thoughts and ideas.
LC – What are you currently working on?
PB – I’m currently working on a new project entitled “Appearances” – a series of images which are partially exhibited at ITSLIQUID. It’s clear that globalization and social media have changed our behavior as well as our way of thinking; we broadcast and present a façade of ourselves instead of who we are. We show up in situations and make use of ourselves as ‘dummies’ – like in a clothing store – to project and make an impression of what we want people to perceive and think about us. The project links a selection of conceptual visuals, compositions and techniques from this initial conceit and its use in a new way through the work.
LC – What’s your background?
PB – I am a Bulgarian-born Canadian visual artist and design professional living and working in Montreal since 1993. I hold a Masters in Fine Arts and Design from the National Academy of Fine Arts of Sofia. After many years of artistic practice across Europe, my interests have also led me to pursue further research and specialization in computer graphics and digital arts, and I also hold a degree in Computer Graphics from the ICARI Institute in Montreal, Canada.
LC – What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
PB – After many years of conceptual work in different genres such as corporate identity, public art, design, and integration of the arts within architecture, I’ve been more and more interested in creating conceptual imagery which is abstracted from commercial application. I now work in ‘freer’ mediums of art practice supported by modern techniques.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
PB – I find inspiration in the world that surrounds me, in my daily life and in contact with the people I meet. I travel a lot and observe objects, situations and contexts from different simultaneous angles. It stimulates me and helps me uncover different and unexpected associations which I subsequently like to visualize in different media. I search for unusual approaches to otherwise conventional tropes of communication, which I then define in the most suitable, authentic and representative artistic expression.
LC – Do visitors’ suggestions enrich yourself and your art?
PB – Absolutely – I share a genuine interest in connecting with the world that surrounds me in order to fully understand a given collective ‘archetype’ or cliché which lurks in our collective subconscious. It helps me to delimit its perimeter and explore the tensions, opportunities and latent potentials of given concepts. An example of this approach is a bird’s nest assembled through matches, or a spotted chess figure which is both black and white because it is in itself unable to pick sides. These conceptual explorations are crystallized in images which remain as the secondary artifacts of this exploratory process. I act as the conduit: a means to an ends rather than an ends as such.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
PB – Yes, as the world we live in is also changing fast. Art tends to follow this dynamic and style should follow as well. I respect and admire many old masters whose work embodies the ideas and techniques of their time. In the same way, I seek to create art which responds to our contemporary condition. Strictly speaking, the term ‘contemporary art’ refers to the art produced by artists living today, but more specifically today’s artists should work and respond to their globally interconnected, culturally diverse and technologically evolving world.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
PB – Perhaps the language and ‘visual discourse’ in my works: how visual elements relate and how language is used to communicate and acts as a positive force on the audience. In my work I always seek a visual discourse combining physical realism and figurative imagery in order to critically engage the viewers. Instead of training my eye on different objects, I prefer to examine a single object from all its facets until a new angle is discovered. Then, through analogy, the new idea is reinforced. The challenge is to uphold viewer expectations by always presenting an immediate meaning while also offering a deliberate second-degree subtext. The viewer engages in a substitution exercise beyond the figurative object towards a new frame of mind.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
PB – Absolutely – in the light of the current worldly turmoil, it’s more important than ever for the creative community to engage in a productive dialogue!
LC – What are your suggestions about our services? Is there something more we can provide to artists?
PB – Keep doing what you are doing today, and continue expanding the categories.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
PB – A platform and discursive forum in a constant state of evolution. An opening for exchange – rightfully so.