........................

the follies of Scott William Burns

Press

Here are a few excerpts from selected essays and articles about my artwork.

Rooting for the Home Team by Rachel Hecker
From 2001 New Orleans Triennial catalog. Printing by Harvey Press, New Orleans, La, 2001.


Scott Burns' tableaus are like shrunken scenes from one-act plays performed by a troupe of unlikely, itinerant actors. Each actor -- the fox, devil, robot, snowman and philosopher -- has a specific role to play based on its natural predilections. And play they do across arctic wonderlands, bucolic fields, and wedges of mountainside: the hunters and the hunted, the cunning and the guileless, the contemplative and those ruled by appetite.
The fact is that these remarkably well-made vignettes introduce a cast of characters who are enacting a range of unspeakable acts upon each other (from sodomy to dismemberment and beheading) and we love it. We love it because a well-made miniature is always adorable, and because the antagonists in this drama are really quite fetching. We want to believe that their brand of mayhem and deleterious behavior (and ours) is just one Ritalin tablet away from a cure.
At the end of the day these pieces are downright funny. The fact is that Burns' figures are only badly behaved 3-inch pieces of clay, and that any metaphor is constructed in a region far darker than the landscapes that they inhabit. In these fantastic tableaus we are free to root for the devils and the wolves. We are after all, like them, a predatory lot.



Excerpt from Fashion Forward by Kelly Klaasmeyer
Houston Press, November 1, 2001


If Jacques Cousteau opened a theme restaurant, it might look like Dark Water and Stars (2001), a crafty collaborative installation by Scott Burns and Teresa O'Connor. It's as if some demented prom committee has been hard at work creating a "Love Under the Sea" decor of shimmering fabric, Christmas lights and otherworldly objects. A black-draped tent houses a cheesy vintage lightbox with a motorized waterfall scene. The room is filled with the mechanical water sound and the annoyingly repetitive chirp of a bird. Swirls of netting cover the floor, and organic forms hang from the ceiling. Mysterious galvanized tubs contain murky water with fake coral and an illuminated gelatinous material.
The duo's singularly strange objects hang outside the tent. Burns and O'Connor must make a habit of visiting Michael's {hobby store--sic} in a chemically altered state, then swinging by Value Village on the way home. They certainly seem to have bought out the supply of Sculpey clay for their tiny white ghosts and cartoony sharks. A series of shark heads mounted on the wall are "dressed" in tulle gowns or a cascade of crocheted yarn. A Bridge Too Far (2001) shows too Buddha sculptures perched on gleaming blobs of foam that are ridiculously joined by a tiny wooden bridge. For In a Bucket (2001), a suited shark with really big shoes lies sprawled on a bed of sickeningly perfumed blue bath crystals in the bottom of a metal bucket. Residue on the sides makes it seem like the water has drained away and left him there in tragicomic distress. There is something truly, deeply and wonderfully wrong with these people. They are obviously having too damn much fun making art.

 

 

Scott Burns at Gallery One Nine by 'Louise Cranston'
From Issue #15 of Art Letter Published Sept. 15, 1995 by Bill Davenport, Houston, Tx


It's a great visual party. Humorous regurgitations of the 70s with a Lost in Space/Retro feel and a dash of folk art reference. Takes objects from childhood (at least mine) and floats them back at you. A potpourri of techniques: glitter, old bedsheets, cake icing. Each painting has little failures which only add to its liveliness. Most artists would tighten it up and ruin it. He openly steals from a lot of different people: Rachel Hecker, Carroll Dunham, Donald Baechler, and the Big Daddy Sigmar Polke. The camp quality makes me feel as if I'm in Provincetown for the Drag Ball. One of the most alive shows in Houston in a long time.

 

 

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY


Art in America Nov. 2001 "Southern Sensibilities" by Frances Colpitt

ARTLIES Issue #46, Summer 2005, "Contemporary Erotic Drawings" by John Devine

ARTLIES Issue #33, Spring 2002, "Slumberhouse" by Bill Davenport

ARTLIES Issue #31, Summer 2001, "Big as Texas" by Catherine Anspon

Bill Davenport's Art Letter Issue #13, September 1995

Exposicion Vol. 4 No. 3 Fashionistas--by Catherine Anspon

Exposicion Vol. 4 No. 2 The Houston Scene--by Catherine Anspon

Houston Press Best of Houston 2002, for Slumberhouse

Houston Press Oct. 2001 "Fashion Forward" by Kelly Klaasmeyer

Houston Press "Wide Open Spaces" by John Devine 6/21/01

Houston Press Best of Houston 1999, for Proper Hygiene

Houston's Other "Meat, Skin, and Bones of Art" October 2000

New Orleans Triennial 2001 Catalog essay by Rachel Hecker

Erotic Contemporary Drawings,Published by The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art; First Edition (March 15, 2005)

 

All text and images, except where noted as collaborations or quotes, are © Scott William Burns 1996-2014
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