Three Works

Art / Jay Bolotin


From the artist

:: Account ::

There is always a discomfort when asked to write a statement about one’s own work. I have avoided it, thinking that the work either stands or falls on its own—like a bastard child let loose in the world (proudly) to fend for themselves. And yet, there are some words I have returned to over and over. They are from William Blake’s prophetic poem, “Milton.”

Judge then of thy Own Self: thy Eternal Lineaments explore;
What is Eternal & what Changeable? & what Annihilable?
The Imagination is not a State: it is the Human Existence itself!
Affection or Love becomes a State, when divided from Imagination.
The Memory is a State always, & the Reason is a State
Created to be Annihilated & a new Ratio Created.
Whatever can be Created can be Annihilated. Forms cannot.
The oak is cut down by the axe, the lamb falls by the knife;
But their Forms Eternal exist, forever. Amen! Hallelujah!

These words, these questions, have been my friend—accompanied me on any path I’ve attempted—like a touchstone one returns to when the path is uncertain.


Jay Bolotin was born in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1949. He now lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. His work is included in many public and private collections, including the Museum of Modern Art (NY), the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, The Australian National Museum, and the Smith College Museum of Art. Several exhibitions are being planned surrounding The Book of Only Enoch, a portfolio of prints completed in 2015 and a central element in the narrative of a motion picture in progress.