Digital Artist Neil Horsky on the Possibilities in Art

On December 5, students in Sonja Holmberg’s Grade 7 Digital Design course were treated to a visit by professional artist Neil Horsky, who spoke with the boys about his work and about his new book, The Rules of the Game. Mr. Horsky is a community artist, based in Roxbury, whose work is done in Photoshop and other digital media. His book features twelve digital design collages that re-interpret vintage instructional illustrations and diagrams, all demonstrating how to play various sports. Mr. Horsky explained how he recontextualizes these sports, using them as metaphors for “the game of life,” the social contracts that we all sign, and the rules by which we abide, whether implicitly or explicitly. Mr. Horsky’s digital collages merge the mundane with the fantastical, becoming increasingly surreal throughout the course of the book. During his lecture, Mr. Horsky discussed various compositional elements, Photoshop techniques, strategies for conceptual development, and the incorporation of text into imagery, among other things. Through Mr. Horsky’s visit, Digital Design students gained insight into the artistic process, as well as an understanding of the range of possibilities available through art.

Mr. Horsky’s work includes studio art, public art, music, video, tours, courses, workshops, and writings. His art has been part of dozens of exhibitions in and around Boston. He has led workshops and delivered presentations in various parts of the country; has collaborated with numerous artists and institutions on community art and performing arts projects; and has taught arts-integrated humanities courses at several educational institutions throughout Boston. Mr. Horsky employs the arts to encourage self expression in others, connect people to one another, and build solidarity. He aims to help individuals and communities thrive by cultivating creativity, imagination, and critical thinking, and by inspiring the personal and collective will to enact change.