Persistent Thoughts, Arguments and Symbols

Ed Burke - Peekskill NY Studio

The paintings selected for this folio represent a shift in my creative process and have evolved from what are persistent thoughts, arguments and symbols. These ideas are playing out over and over in my mind and in my current paintings, much like a commercial jingle or phrase that gets stuck in your head “Winston Tastes Good Like a Cigarette should”, or noxious but stuck in the annals of one’s mind.

In 2007 there was a change in my creative process and the intention of my art. The content of the paintings were no longer about interpreting the world around me from three sources: direct observation, the minds eye and the id. New ideas, gestures and symbols were demanding attention, my nagging thoughts and concerns regarding the impact of government, religion, and economic models on the environment and humanity.

The three paintings titled, “Master Card”, “Visa Card” and “Amex Card”, contain symbols that are reoccurring in many of my paintings. The three factory smoke stacks, shown active with billowing smoke and others times dormant, is a simple visual idea that represents the conundrum of manufacturing the economy vs. providing a healthy environment. Can we improve our economy without damaging our environment? These images and symbols flood my conscious when I am in the studio and are now finding their way to the canvas.

"Master Card"   Acrylic / Canvas   30" x 40"

"Visa Card"   Acrylic / Canvas   30" x 40"

"Amex Card"   Acrylic / Canvas   30" x 40"

The series of paintings “Black Cross Mythologies”, I address the argument of ancient religious mythologies that the concept of “faith” is evidence to prove the validity of various religious ideas. Bertrand Russell’s parable of the celestial teapot has been incorporated into the painting titled “Black Cross Mythologies – Celestial Teapot”. The parable’s theory is that one can have the same steadfast belief that a teapot is orbiting the solar system as they can have in any other religious idea, as either argument only requires “faith” as validation.

"Black Cross Mythology - Creation"   Acrylic / Canvas   30" x 40"

"Black Cross Mythology - Wo-Man"   Acrylic / Canvas   30" x 40"

Another idea that drives this body of work is developing groups of paintings that interact with each other. Although these paintings are composed to have an aesthetic and content that allows each work to stand on its own, it is also intended that grouped together the paintings’ impact and significance is intensified. I am intrigued with the idea that these paintings at some point may never be seen together again. They may reside in different locations yet they will always be joined together by the intentional intertwined relationship that allows these paintings to communicate something bigger when they are together then when they are apart.

"Envirofacturing Green Dot"   Acrylic / Canvas   30" x 40"

"Envirofacturing Red Dot"   Acrylic / Canvas   30" x 40"

Conceptually the idea is to see paintings as if they were stills from a film where the compositional elements (the cast of characters) move and change, reinvent themselves or new characters might enter the frame. The paintings are realized as if they were out-takes from a film of random thoughts from a nonlinear thinker.

 Narrative and Copy Writing by Suzanne Ingrao

Copyright © 2019 Edward A. Burke              

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