JT Burke, Wise Fool, Finds Beauty, Joy in Bling (Updated)

JT Burke is a tongue-in-cheek artist-philosopher, or perhaps he is simply the wise fool, poking a bit of fun at our foibles and distractions whilst softening the blow by sharing joyfulness and beauty. While he began his professional career as a commercial photographer, his work has morphed into fine art. He has lately exhibited at Photo Independent.

"My compositions reflect interests in unique items from the physical world and notions that are dear to Man’s soul. I use collected objects to create fantastic compositions that represent intangible human desires and philosophies." ~JT Burke

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Artist's Statement - JT Burke

"My compositions reflect interests in unique items from the physical world and notions that are dear to Man’s soul.

I use collected objects to create fantastic compositions that represent intangible human desires and philosophies. Although I use photography as a tool I am no longer a photographer. Instead, I use design and illustration techniques to create interesting and thoughtful images. Though I usually have a concept in mind when I begin a new piece I rarely work from a defined layout; I prefer to rely on intuition and serendipity.

"Having worked for many years as a commercial photographer, I now appreciate the spontaneity and inward focus of creating art. Coupling my photographic and digital manipulation skills I develop a fresh and thoughtful approach to each composition. Each piece contains color, light and figure that are all generated by the energy of thousands of small images. The result is ornate and exuberant, and tells tales of life forces unbounded by reality.

"My compositions are influenced by a variety of artists and mediums, including Charles Burchfield, Kandinsky, Hieronymus Bosch, contemporary pop surrealists, medieval illuminations, Persian miniatures and even Dr. Seuss."

JT Burke on 'Beautiful Again' [Perpetuating the Myth of Paradise]

"Beautiful Again explores the human obsession with the concept of paradise. It questions the concepts of afterlife, Man’s role in the universe and the religious institutions that have evolved around innate human needs. My vision of paradise is created with costume jewelry; Man-made objects of beauty as a metaphor for paradise, the ultimate Man-made thing of beauty.

"Paradise is a myth. It’s a concoction of our own devices created to comfort us from the rigors of daily life and the sorrows of the human condition. Paradise gives us hope for something meaningful beyond this mortal life. It’s a beautiful myth. So beautiful that even knowing it’s a myth only slightly diminishes its value.

"I perpetuate the myth. Using old costume jewelry as my building blocks I create visions of a remanufactured utopia. I find these discarded pieces at swap meets and yard sales and conjure them into new images of life in ebullient and glorified forms. They dance and soar in front of me in harmonic expressions of trinket afterlife joy. A Big, blingy bijou Shangri-La.

"The Myth of Paradise realized."

Jeffrey Thomas Burke - JT Burke

Jeffrey Thomas Burke was born in 1957. He received a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1981, and an (hon)MS in photography from Brooks Institute in 1999.

Burke worked for many years as a commercial photographer, cinematographer and graphic designer. He was an early adopter of digital photography and imaging as a part of his studio practice as early as 1990. His successful photography studio eventually gained a lengthy roster of corporate clients, ad agencies and publishing companies in the United States and abroad. His work received numerous awards and was featured in various publications.

In 2006 Jeffrey and his wife, artist Lorraine Angela Triolo, retired from commercial practice and re-opened BurkeTriolo Studio as a fine art studio and publishing house. They began showing their work in 2009.

Jeff’s current body of work speaks to the concept of Paradise as a myth, and Man’s need for purpose and a meaningful place in the cosmos. His unique image style combines original photography with digital manipulation to create scenes of exhuberant life and utopian bliss.

J.T. Burke lives and works in South Pasadena, California. He serves on the Brooks Institute Board of Trustees as its chair.

About Photo Independent

Photo Independent’s mission is to enable photographic artists with the opportunity to be discovered by global audiences. The annual showcase provides a forum for direct exchange of ideas and contacts between photographers, collectors and art professionals. Photo Independent provides potential exhibitors with the unique opportunity to present their work to global decision makers — curators, galleries, collectors, editors and publishers — who seek to acquire, publish and commission the best photographic talent today.

Photo Independent is an annual photography art fair held in Hollywood, California, making its inaugural debut in 2014. As the first photographer-only art fair showcasing fine art photographers, Photo Independent provides a unique forum of exchange between photographers and art professionals through exhibitions and specialized programs.

Source: JT Burke and Burke Triolo

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