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Jason Borders - Dremel Drill Horse Skull

 

Jason Lewis Borders has been playing with bones since he was a kid. Growing up in Kentucky he would take the bones out of found owl pellets and reconfigure them into miniature hybrid skeletons. This approach evolved over time into a tradition he describes as being rooted in “escapism/self hypnosis”, which began while he was in school and would draw on the back of worksheets and quizzes until the lines and the characters started to compress together. “It taught me the benefits of turning off cognitive thought. It allowed me to tune out, or rather, depending on your perspective, tune in. I think my work has a lot in common with drone music.”
 
While Kentucky appears to be conservative, it’s actually home to a fairly strong counter culture, with what Borders describes as a “refined atmosphere of young punks, old hillbilly-hippies and drag queens,” which supplied a conducive atmosphere for his artistic impulses. Among his biggest influences was the work of Robert Morgan whom he first met when he was still a young child. “His aesthetic is ingrained in my subconscious. You notice art like that in Lexington; it could not have stood out more if it was a glitter-smeared beacon.”
 
A Portland resident since 2009, he only began looking at bones as a potential canvas when his wife’s parents gave him a dremel drill in 2010. Horse skulls are his favorite bones these days because they're broad and the bones—unlike a cow’s skull—are fused, thus creating a nice smooth canvas. “They're also really thin, which can be difficult to carve, but once they're completed can be illuminated from the inside. I have absolutely fallen in love with the effect of light through bone. You can do the same with elk bones and smaller skulls like coyote.”
 
A fan of Dodge Chargers, Leonard Cohen, Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men, and especially the Neil Young soundtrack to the movie Dead Man, Borders has worked loading trucks at a FedEx hub, a Jewish Deli, as a 3D illustrator as well as a “nanny”. In addition to his creative endeavors, he currently works in construction and general labor.
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