An artist exploring what the gap between the media's message and the audience's reality looks like. Redefining Surrealism.
Greg Mason Burns is a conceptual painter who highlights emotional unknowns, with particular attention to societal pressure, adventure, fear, frustration, stress, and chaos.
With his current project, Novo-Surrealism, Burns investigates the information / reception gap often apparent within disparate human experiences, ranging from the quotidian to the global-political. With its genesis coinciding with Brazil’s 2016 coup d’etat—which resulted in the impeachment of President, Dilma Rouseff--Novo-Surrealism examines how the media and its audience communicate with one another, knowing that there’s a gap of understanding between the two parties. Each line gesture attempts to fill this gap, rendering what this liminal space might look like if the pictorial plane were an actual place instead of a state of mind. This personal epistemology of perception is informed by transcendental idealism and punctuated by Fauvistic gestures and expressionistic lines. He has found oil, watercolor, charcoal, and pastel to be the most communicative media for this body of work.
Born in Bar Harbor, Maine (1975), Burns completed his Master’s degree at the University of Edinburgh (UK), with a focus on European Politics. He has two Bachelor degrees from the University of Maine, Orono, the first in Journalism and the second Public Administration. Before returning to Maine in 2016, he resided in the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, and Chile.
Burns began his artistic career while living in Santiago de Chile in 2010. A self-taught artist, his influences span the art historical canon, multiple academic disciplines, and three continents. He cites Kandinsky and Diebenkorn for their visual inspiration, Earnest Hemingway for his linguistic parsimony, and the experiential dynamics of having lived on multiple continents all as factors contributing to his personal aesthetic.
Comfortable painting and drawing in a variety of media—oil, oil pastel, watercolor paintings, and charcoal—he has also ventured into sculpture, photography, video, and installation.
Burns has exhibited internationally, including locations in Brazil, Portugal, and the United States.