Robert Burden "Original Myth" @ Gregorio Escalante Gallery
Burden appropriates popular culture like Star Wars characters, Thundercats, Batman, and Transformers and assembles them in larger than life, highly detailed paintings.
Original Myth is a reinvention of contemporary culture produced in a postwar era. Mass produced, packaged, and sold in bulk, Robert Burden asks us to question whether or not originality is still a concept that we can grapple with and utilize in our present day cultural landscape. His technique harkens back to the techniques of master painters, utilizing intricate time-consuming details, chiaroscuro, and countless hours invested into painting on a large scale. His works are easy to get lost in with the amount of images compiled into one space, bringing his masterful technique to popular light.
Being constantly barraged by media, images, and stories is overwhelming, and pinpointing the source can become a heavy and winding task. Narrative styles and new stories become born out of something else from where they started, propagating cultural myths that are both beneficial and problematic to local discourse. Burden’s massive paintings are both an homage and condemnation to originality and newly formed mythologies. With misinformation running rampant, his pieces are in a way an extension of this perilous situation, creating lavishly detailed works that are an amalgam of what we choose to elevate in modern culture.
An opening reception will be held at Gregorio Escalante Gallery on January 7th, 2017 from 7-10pm.
Read our interview with the artist from the August, 2016 issue of the magazine.