Simple Truths and Complex Lies - Jay Boersma
Simple Truths and Complex Lies - Jay Boersma
Simple Truths and Complex Lies - Jay Boersma


Punch-line Photography
Chicago Tribune, April 23, 1995 by Abigail Foerstner.

Targets of Boersma's Spoofs Include the Medium Itself
Chicago Tribune, October 06, 1989 by Abigail Foerstner.

The Art Institute of Chicago
Photography Collection

Artist's Statement

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
—Groucho Marx

After spending many years producing documentary photographs in public places—photographs that I felt were incredibly witty, insightful and beautiful—I began to suspect that, outside of a small circle of photographically savvy insiders, few people were really getting the point and perhaps few ever would. Concurrent with this, I began to feel frustrated that there was much more going on in my life that I wanted to communicate in my art than that particular genre of photography would allow.

In 1987, I decided take a parallel path to my traditional photography, one that would allow me to be less subtle and to take more risks. This work is the result. It is a blend of inquiry and absurdity that borrows from post-modernism, Dada and sixties experimentalism with a good measure of Ernie Kovacs and Spike Jones thrown in to keep things moving.

While diverse in materials, methods and presentation, these pieces share a common goal which is to present information to the viewer in unanticipated ways. Sub-themes within the overall project investigate self-portraiture, male-female relationships, sacred cows, regular cows, the history of art and photography and a smattering of universal human attributes such as greed, lust, pretense and regret.

Much (but not all) of this is enclosed in a layer of ironic humor that may help buffer steadily increasing evidence that Sartre was right.

Or not.

Jay Boersma
1987 (rev 2017)


Presenting the work in this manner, utilizing a "gallery wall" background, is not intended to be cute. It is the best method I could think of to illustrate the way many of the pieces interact with each other and with the environment in which they are displayed.

There are slightly over one hundred pieces in this series. Though only a handful are viewable here at this time, more are coming.

Back to Square One
The Built World
Semblance Portrait Project
Simple Truths
Changing Chicago
Chicago's Reliance Building
Beecher, Illinois
Iceland 2017
Cuba 2015
Providence, Rhode Island
Along the Mississippi River
Greece 2013
Eastern Europe 2013
Israel 2010
Paris, France
Puebla, Mexico 2009
Puerto Rico 2009
Barcelona 2007
The Work of Antoni Gaudí 2007
Rome, Italy 2006
Santa Fe, New Mexico 2006
The Web Page from Hell
The Portals Project
Internet Spelling Guide
Ape Silverback (Primate Ruminations)
Revenge of the Movie Poster
GIFs 4 Us
The Web Rules
Backgrounds 4 Us
Digital Sketches
Commercial Work
© Jay Boersma