From May 30th through June 30th, BoxHeart Gallery presents Theodore Bolha: Before We Were Born on exhibit in our 2nd floor gallery. The artwork presented in Theodore Bolha: Before We Were Born exemplifies Bolha’s profound ability as a self taught modern paper cutting artist. Pittsburgh's The Gallery Four, explains "with boundless patience, Theodore sculpts immaculate silhouettes of vining plant roots, lively animals, and sinuous nerve endings using only his hand and a razor. Delicate, complicated patterns and repeating fractals dance from his blade - As these remarkable pieces are hand-cut and one of a kind, chance and skill play a dynamic role in the finished piece".
Almost any textured surface stimulates Bolha’s creative process. Referred to as automatism, Bolha works by allowing his subconscious to express itself however it will. Bolha does not plan out his designs in advance he instead allows them to, "grow with the flow". Starting with a very basic intention, such as a single dot or wavy branching lines, each layer of paper proceeds in unpredictable ways. While working Bolha thinks about where paper came from, its structure and fragility, its use and the future of paper in our society, how dependent on paper civilization had to be in order for us to get to where we are today. The resulting imagery, present in Bolha’s subconscious and manifested into his artwork, feels like a place beyond our reality. Bolha calls this place The Everside; the place we came from before we were born; a realm of pure emotion that lies just beneath the surface of our material world.
Bolha (b. 1980) is from Latrobe Pennsylvania. After graduating from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh with a BA in Graphic Design, Bolha worked as a freelance designer and a full time designer for a local safety company. In 2008, Bolha decided it was time for a dramatic change - a change that would eventually lead him to discover his talent for paper cutting and it's efficacy as his new medium. While visiting a friend in Miami, Bolha happened to discover the artwork of Jen Stark. Her work, as well as the work of Zdzisław Beksiński and countless others, continue to make a huge impression on Bolha; paper's potential for self expression. Most recently, his artwork has been exhibited at Gallery Four, Latrobe Art Center, and Allegory Gallery.