Burke’s Beautiful Again will visit Santa Barbara, Spain and England
Artist J.T. Burke announces his debut exhibition, Beautiful Again, in an ambitious, 3-city summer tour that travels to Santa Barbara, California, Barcelona, Spain and Bristol, England. Formerly a successful commercial photographer and graphic designer, Burke has turned his focus to the expression of his own visions using the digital technologies he mastered over the past two decades.
Burke will exhibit the 26 artworks of Beautiful Again at the following locations:
The Brooks Institute Gallery 27 (August 5 - 29), 27 E. Cota St., Santa Barbara, California, reception August 5, 5-8p.m.
The Grant Bradley Gallery (August 27 - October 2), Bristol, England, reception, August 27, 7p.m.
The Hotel Estela Barcelona (July 2 - September 28), Barcelona, Spain, reception July 2, 7p.m.
Beautiful Again perpetuates the “Myth of Paradise” in a stunning visual display of large format digital images influenced by ancient Rome, Renaissance manuscripts, Muslim arabesques and Hindu and Tibetan mandalas. Each intricate piece has been exquisitely constructed from the individual photographs of costume jewelry salvaged from flea markets, antique stores and private collections, suggesting new Utopias for a “bling” era.
Prints such as Big Opening Number (2009) feature a collection of flamingos, humming birds, cherubs, iguanas, daisies, cruciforms, butterflies, leaves, Fabergé eggs, roses, thistles, frogs and owls. Yet Burke’s art, for all its tongue-in-cheek focus on the surface, reveals a deeper enlightened perspective on history and culture.
“Having grown up in Catholic schools, I was always enthralled by the fantastical descriptions of paradise – heaven or any concepts of the hereafter,” said Burke. “My work expresses how our own visions of paradise are displayed through the objects we create and can manipulate.”
The exhibition will be accompanied by the artist’s first monograph, “Beautiful Again – Perpetuating the Myth of Paradise,” presenting the entire suite in extensive full color reproductions, and will be available in both a soft cover version and a limited edition hardback slipcase version complete with signed print.
Peter Frank, director of the Riverside Art Museum, says the following of Burke’s work:
Technically Burke is a collagist, assembling so many discrete elements into images of things and spaces and circumstances that do not exist in reality. But his cut-and-paste photography engages the line and burr of drawing in its contours, painterly textures in its compositions, and sculptural tactility in the bristling, glistening cascade of richly festooned adornments.
To view the work of J.T. Burke, please visit www.jtburke.com.
Brooks Institute Gallery 27: http://www.brooks.edu/aboutus/cota.asp
The Grant Bradley Gallery: http://www.grantbradleygallery.co.uk/
The Hotel Estela Barcelona: http://www.hotelestela.com/
About J.T. Burke: Jeffrey Thomas Burke is an artist who explores transfigurations of the physical world and representations of paradise. In 1984 Burke began a successful career as a commercial photographer, cinematographer and graphic designer. In 2006 Burke retired from commercial work and pursued a full-time career as an artist. His unique visual style combines original photography with digital manipulation to create scenes of exuberant life, harmonic bliss and unbounded abstraction.
J.T. Burke lives and maintains a studio in South Pasadena, California.