Jay Bolotin, The Book of Only Enoch: Elements of a Motion Picture
Solway Gallery is pleased to present Jay Bolotin for the 2024 Outsider Art Fair. The exhibition will glimpse behind-the-scenes of the fourteen-year long production of his upcoming animated film “The Jackleg Testament, part 2: The Book of Only Enoch.” The film is based on a narrative he created in a portfolio of 20 woodcuts titled “The Book of Only Enoch,” drawn from the apocryphal Old Testament Book of Enoch about a man who went to heaven and lived to tell the tale. The exhibition will feature parts of the sculptural sets, woodcut prints from portfolios “The Book of Only Enoch” (2011-2014) and “The L Portfolio” (2021), a selection of narrative graphite drawings, and some of the hundreds of working graphite drawings from which the characters and sets are designed and animated. The film’s prequel, “Jackleg Testament Part I: The Story of Jack & Eve” (2007), through which Bolotin pioneered the use of woodcut printmaking in digital animation, was awarded “Best Animation” at the 2007 Santa Fe Film Festival. “The Jackleg Testament, part 2: The Book of Only Enoch” is set to premiere January 2025 at the University of Kentucky Museum.
Jay Bolotin (b. 1949, Fayette County, Kentucky) is a prolific visual artist, writer, composer, musician, set designer and filmmaker who resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. While growing up on a farm in rural Kentucky, Bolotin immersed himself in music and storytelling and made sculptures from fallen trees. Later he studied art at the Rhode Island School of Design and became an apprentice to the late sculptor Robert Lamb. However, concentrated his study offine art, he never abandoned his interest in literature, especially biblical stories and those by the Grimm Brothers and William Blake, all of which have inspired his art. During the 1970s, Bolotin also pursued his love of music while working as a songwriter in Nashville. An accomplished musician, he has worked and performed with artists who include Merle Haggard, Dan Fogelberg, Kris Kristofferson, and Porter Wagoner, and continues to perform regularly in the U.S. and abroad. In the early 1980s, Bolotin began making prints. He uses a variety of media to produce those works, but the directness of woodcut appeals to him most. It remains a constant in his practice, which involves the development of complex, ambiguous dramas that feature an array of recurring characters. Bolotin also expands his imagery into performance-based works, including films, plays, and operas. The realization of those productions can take several years; however, their elaborate and meticulous nature prove to be worth the wait. Jay Bolotin has had solo shows at institutions including the Samek Art Gallery, Bucknell University; Contemporary
Art Center, Cincinnati; Joslyn Art Center, Omaha; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; Vanderbilt University, Nashville. His woodcut prints and sculpture are included in numerous public and private collections including Australian National Museum; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; Georgia Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego; Smith College Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art, New York; New York Public Library; and Seattle Art Museum.