Jean Boghossian is an abstract multidisciplinary artist whose recent artworks all bear, at different degrees, traces of burn degradation. It is through the process of willful damage with an invasive and rather violent method (fire), that Boghossian continuously searches for harmony. Conscious that one will never completely tame the chaotic move of flames and smoke, he enters the fire dance and moves along with the blaze until he chooses to stop the process. This is where he feels the right balance has been reached.
Born in Aleppo in 1949, Boghossian stems from a family of jewelers for whom he worked while studying Economics and Sociology at University of Saint-Joseph in Beirut. In 1975, the Lebanese Civil War forced Boghossian to leave the country and settle in Belgium. Over three decades ago, Boghossian decided to enroll in the Academy of Fine Arts in Boitsfort, Brussels, while continuing to oversee the family business. In 1992, together with his brother and father he created the Boghossian Foundation.
Globally, Boghossian is one of the few artists who experiments by applying fire and smoke to various works. Fire, being his artistic language of choice, is used through a wide array of torches. Having transitioned a little more than a decade ago towards abstraction Boghossian’s art may evoke a contemporary view on the Zero-movement and Fluxus although he claims not to belong to any artistic movement.
Objects that Boghossian has attacked through the flame include canvas, paper, books, and plastics, at times leaving behind patterns of perforation. In his paintings and drawings, Boghossian uses different multimedia including watercolor, charcoal, oil, pigments, and acrylic paint with techniques that include folding, collage, and uprooting. Boghossian’s sculptures range from wood, polystyrene, clay, marble, and bronze, some of which he also tickles with the flame.