Gerard Burns

Gerard BurnsBurns attended Glasgow Art School, graduating in 1983, but found his figurative work at odds with the artistic trend for abstract conceptualism. He then turned to his second love, music, becoming a pop singer-songwriter with his band Valerie and the Week of Wonders. After about four years, he became disillusioned with the music industry, but found new inspiration in teaching art. He was able to commit to painting full time in 1999 after a decade of teaching. His large canvases, using friends and family as models, turn ordinary scenes into mythic dramas. ‘I paint real people, real scenes, real life’ he told the Daily Mail in 2002, ‘it’s hopelessly old fashioned in some artists’ eyes, but most of what is called contemporary art is self-indulgent and trivial’. He is inspired by Velasquez, where the most casual brushstrokes create a beautiful whole. Burns has stated that ‘my goal is realism, but it’s by increasingly abstract means that realism is attained.’

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