Bad To The Bone: The "Tattooed" Skulls of Jason Borders

By katievidan - 
Bad To The Bone: The "Tattooed" Skulls of Jason Borders

"My belief is that, as painful as it can be, looking directly at death helps you to live your life with intent and purpose."

Jason Borders' work is based around the familiarization of death. Borders' believes that by exposing oneself to death (hence the bones- literally artifacts of death) it becomes almost a motivation to live life more fully- because death is inevitable. Once you come to terms with that, he believes, you'll be more prone to take advantage of the life you have. 

He looks at his work as a form of "self-hypnosis"- a rhythmic, un-planned act of mark-making that in a sense delves into the grey area between life and death. 

Borders never has a plan. Ever. When he begins a new piece, he has no idea where exactly it will end up- and that's how he likes it. He believes the results are more interesting without any prior notion of where it's going. "Im convinced that you'll get better results from sticking to a simple approach that incorporates randomization, improvisation, intuition, etc. than thorough planning." He says that if he knew where the piece was going to end up, he may never finish out of frustration. 

Consistency, rhythm and repetition- which Borders' says have been strong themes throughout his life- are three major aspects of his work as an artist. He creates in the way he does because he believes by utilizing these three themes over and over throughout his work, he is able to to produce endless outcomes with little to no change in his method. "There are only a few things I could do a million times and not get bored and I put a high premium on them." 

Living and working in Portland, Oregon- Jason Borders continues to make countless unplanned, totally unique pieces; whether on bones, paper or clay. You can check out all of his work here- but in the meantime, take a look at some our favorite pieces of his below. 

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