Jay Bolotin: The Book of Only Enoch is on view in the Harnett Museum of Art, October 14, 2015, through January 24, 2016. The art of Jay Bolotin (American, born 1949) crosses many disciplines, including visual art, theatre, film, literature, and music, but his true métier is storytelling. The University Museums presented a one-person exhibition Jay Bolotin: The Jackleg Testament Continues two years ago in the Harnett Museum of Art. One gallery of the exhibition was devoted to a work in progress, a preview of The Book of Only Enoch. Included were working proofs from the portfolio, process drawings for the animation, Kharmen, his prologue operatic animation, and the artist drew directly on the walls of the gallery, covering the walls by drawing images and writing lengthy passages of text. The installation was a preamble, and now the series of twenty prints is finished and this exhibition presents the complete portfolio The Book of Only Enoch. This is the latest episode in the artist’s ongoing Jackleg Testament, a multi-volume saga that is as all-encompassing for the viewer and reader as for the artist. In his new portfolio, Bolotin draws us into Only Enoch’s universe through text and imagery that engulfs our senses and imagination.
Raised on a farm in rural Kentucky, Bolotin’s childhood was filled with storytelling and music, both of which influenced his artwork. He studied art at the Rhode Island School of Design and served as an apprentice to sculptor Robert Lamb. In the early 1970s, he pursued his interest in music, working as a songwriter with Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, and Dan Fogleberg.