An artist exploring what the gap between the media's message and the audience's reality looks like. Post-contemporary visual arts.
Greg Mason Burns is a conceptual painter who highlights emotional unknowns, with particular attention to societal pressure, adventure, fear, frustration, stress, and chaos.
Burns focuses on emotional unknowns. Focusing primarily on the “interpretation gap” that is present in Reception Theory, he attempts identify areas of mis-information, manipulation, and mis-representation of the mass media’s message and relate them to the audience’s understanding of reality. This “gap” that exists between the media and the audience is what drives his artistic intellectualism as he attempts to fill it with the stress that is caused by our current socio-politico divide. His work is not political.
While he worked on this project in many ways for several years leading up to 2020, his work then developed into three areas: the blurriness of information in relation to identity; the re-shaping of news headlines into “snapshots” of words that cause emotional responses that may be different than the original headlines would have caused; and the taking of complex emotional issues and presenting them as overly simplistic responses. All three criticize how we interpret, absorb, and relay information.
He works in a variety of media including: oil, acrylic, oil pastel, charcoal, watercolor, photography, sculpture, and installation.
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, 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, Barnett Newman, 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.
Burns has exhibited internationally, including locations in Brazil, Portugal, Scotland, and the United States.