Greg Mason Burns


Collaboration: Zaratan by Greg Mason Burns and Daniel Gawronski

I recently did a residency in Lisbon, Portugal and while there I met the other artist-in-residence, Daniel Gawronski. Daniel is an Australian artist who works primarily with sound art. His method is interesting in that he takes images from the natural environment and uses those to map musical compositions. We both attended the residency at Zaratan Arte Contemporanea in Lisbon, but this collaboration was an accident.   For the audio, Gawronski used a photograph of trees from a forest Sintra, Portugal, outside Lisbon, to create a music scale. Trees that were close represented low notes and trees that were in

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Redefining The Surreal (Novo-Surrealism)

While some of my work may have a hint of Surrealism in it, I am not a Surrealist by definition. And yet I feel as if I am a Surrealist in spirit and maybe by nature as well. To start, I care nothing of dreams and the contradiction between them and real life. This, shown with great realism, is the definition of Surrealism. However, there is a deeper meaning to Surrealism, and if André Breton was right in that Surrealism was a revolutionary movement then I certainly fit in. I do so via approach as opposed to what the painting

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Beauty and Evolution: is Beauty a Defense Mechanism?

Beauty and Evolution I can´t argue against this. Denis Dutton has a pretty convincing argument one way or another, but how true is it? His theory suggests that what we perceive as beauty is as evolved as our bodies are. He argues that the shape of a diamond is eerily similar to that of a pre-historic stone spearhead. Furthermore, these stones weren´t just made to kill animals but to show off abilities for the purpose of mating. Think about it, a man makes a stone not to kill, but to show that he´s capable of creating such a stone, and

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Telling the Truth in Art

Telling the Truth in Art Nothing irks me more in art than criticism that uses modern fashion as a justification for it’s existence. In fact, if a piece of art is being criticized because the piece fails to follow modern fashionable conventions then the piece is very likely by definition “art”. I don’t say this meaning that art must or even should break conventions (I don’t believe that at all). But art that conforms to prevailing fashions intentionally is missing something, and that missing piece is truth.   Truth is nothing new in art, but what the truth is, unfortunately,

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A Critique of the Definition of Documentary Art

Documentary Art: a Definition The first thing that comes to mind when we think of a documentary is usually a film. Beyond that, we typically think of writers and photographers, especially those of the journalistic type. But that’s not all. Painters were definitely the documentary artists before photography was invented. Painters such as Raffaele Carelli and Johann Moritz Rugendas documented the landscapes they visited. In fact, the Hudson School was probably the dominant American documentary arts style of the 1800s. They influenced the mass migration westward in the US as much as anyone did.    Documentary Art relies on a

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How to Look at Art in Four Steps (when you don’t know what you’re looking at)

Have you ever wondered how something can be called “art” when it apparently looks like something you could have created using the leftover paint from painting your garage? Well, in this great video by University of Pittsburgh Professor Terry Smith, at the Andy Warhol Museum, he explains how to look at art using four steps:   What: Look at the art and ask: “What am I looking at?” Share these thoughts with other people. Try to describe it and keep an open mind. Describe the materials and think about how they may be linked to each other. How: How was

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