Exhibition Preview: Beautiful Again (Perpetuating the Myth of Paradise) Images by JT Burke

The Grant Bradley Gallery, Bristol, UK
28th August – 2nd October 2010
Hotel Estela, Barcelona, Spain
2nd July – 28th September 2010
Brooks Institute Gallery 27, Santa Barbara, California, USA
5th August  – 29th August 2010

By Guy Sangster Adams

Portal to a Beautiful Place by JT Burke, from the exhibition Beautiful Again (Perpetuating the Myth of Paradise)

Portal to a Beautiful Place by JT Burke, from the exhibition Beautiful Again (Perpetuating the Myth of Paradise)

A glittering and gilded ornithic array, including flamingos, peacocks, humming birds, and wide-eyed owls, grace the 26 resplendent images that make up JT Burke’s latest body of work, Beautiful Again. Which also cascade luxuriously with glistening flora and fauna, as daisies, roses, thistles, and leaves, kaleidoscopically merge with frogs, rabbits, and iguanas. Drawing inspiration from ancient Rome, Renaissance manuscripts, Muslim arabesques, Hindu and Tibetan mandalas, Burke has crafted each work from individual photographs of discarded costume jewellery which he finds, as he says, “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 images presented in Beautiful Again, both explore Burke’s theme that “paradise is a myth,” that it is “a concoction of our own devices created to comfort us from the rigours of daily life and the sorrows of the human condition,” whilst he also seeks to “perpetuate the myth” as he “create[s] visions of a remanufactured utopia.”

Beautiful Mask by JT Burke

Beautiful Mask by JT Burke, from the exhibition Beautiful Again (Perpetuating the Myth of Paradise)

From 1984, JT Burke worked as a commercial photographer, cinematographer, and graphic designer, work for which he garnered many awards. But in 2006, he and his wife the artist, Leanne Triolo, retired from commercial practice and reconfigured BurkeTriolo studio as a fine art studio and publishing house, and began exhibiting their work from 2009.

Beautiful Again, is presented by Richard Scarry, the executive director of the Los Angeles based Corey Helford Gallery, and the exhibition’s arrival in Bristol comes hot on the heels of the highly successful Corey Helford curated exhibition, Art From The New World, which ran at Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery from 15th May to 22nd August 2010. READ PLECTRUM – THE CULTURAL PICK’S PREVIEW OF ART FROM THE NEW WORLD

Beautiful Again (Perpetuating the Myth of Paradise) Images by JT Burke
runs from 28th August – 2nd October 2010
at The Grant Bradley Gallery,
1 St Peter’s Court, Bedminster Parade, Bristol, BS3 4AQ
Telephone: +44 (0)117 963 7673

Open: Mon-Sat, 10am – 5pm
Free entry

The exhibition is also showing:

from 2nd July – 28th September
at The Hotel Estela Barcelona
Av. Port Aiguadolç, no. 8, 08870 Sitges, Barcelona, Spain
Telephone: +34 93 811 45 45

Open daily: 9am – 9pm
Free entry

from 5th August  – 29th August 2010
at Brooks Institute Gallery 27
27 Cota Street, Santa Barbara, California 93101, USA
Telephone: +1 805 690 4928

Open daily: 10am – 9 pm
Free entry

All works will be for sale, prices ranging from £600 to £3500.

Links
JT Burke: www.jtburke.com
The Grant Bradley Gallery: www.grantbradleygallery.co.uk
Hotel Estela Barcelona: www.hotelestela.com
Brooks Institute Gallery 27:  www.brooks.edu
Corey Helford Gallery: www.coreyhelfordgallery.com

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