Boger lets viewers in his mind with expressionism

Student artist Zachary Boger, deviates from reality in his expressionistic artworks, but connects the pieces back to reality with a clear theme of emotion.

Zachary Boger, a senior art major at Shippensburg University, explored the subjective emotions aroused in everyday life through expressionistic artworks in his exhibit “In My Head.” “In My Head” is currently on display at SU’s Brindle Gallery.

Boger’s exhibit consists of seven pieces of canvas artwork. Four of the seven pieces were created as an art series, while the other three are standalone artworks that flow well with the exhibit through the use of a common theme and abstract expressionism. 

The exhibit title “In My Head” was carefully crafted by Boger to give individuals a taste of the theme present in the exhibit. 

“I chose pieces that worked well [together] and represented the mind to hand mentality that I was trying to put forth and emulate,” Boger said. “Many expressionists use [this] as a method to react to their contemporary issues.”

The four pieces in Boger’s exhibit series are “Reflection,” “Rage,” “Euphoria” and “Depression.” During the creation process of the series, Boger said he focused on the natural aura of reflection, rage, euphoria and depression, while also aiming to maintain a strong sense of form in his compositions.

Each piece of art that derived from an emotion or state of mind, transformed it to art in a distinct way. Boger produced rage with fiery strokes of chalk and charcoal and depression with harsh pen and ink markings — both approaches interpreted the correlating emotions in a meticulous way. 

“My inspiration for my work streams from various sources including my own experiences, my readings and my studies,” Boger said. “The series in the gallery was based on both reading about Plutchik’s wheel of emotions and the experiences of being at the bottom of the iceberg for each.”

Plutchik’s wheel of emotions aids individuals in visualizing the broad spectrum of emotions and how they each intertwine and relate to one another.

The three artworks in the exhibit that stray from the series are “Music Mädchen,” “Self Portrait” and “Tiffany.”

“I decided to use these drawings due to the unconscious drawing that took place with them. They also met my theme of coming directly from creativity and not from intense over thinking,” Boger said. “Even though ‘Musik Mädchen’ is a poster with crisp lines, it still has my underlying theme within it.”

Boger enjoys experimenting with art in medium and form, which is why he favors the creative freedom that expressionistic and abstract art allows. 

“The reason I prefer to use abstract art is because it is not only classical to the German expressionist movement, but it is essential to the way I distort reality or change it to fit current artwork or a concept I am focusing on,” Boger said. 

While expression is one reason why Boger appreciates art, it runs deeper than this for him. Art is a passion that Boger plans to pursue professionally once he graduates from SU.

“I hope to continue working as an artist within the media of ceramics and drawing, and setting up my own shows and exhibits showcasing that work,” Boger said. “Overall I hope to continue studying my concepts.”

“In My Head” will remain on display in The Brindle Gallery through Oct. 19. The exhibit can be viewed during gallery hours, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Thursday, or by appointment.


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