“Although I grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut in the seventies, I had the good fortune to travel to Beirut, Lebanon at the age of 13. My uncle was a naval attaché stationed there. He was a very gregarious man and he knew everybody, from street cleaners to diplomats to the Prime Minister. Together we would walk the streets. Beirut was a virtual orgy of the senses. The colors of the people in all manners of dress, the architecture, ornament, craft and culture, the smells wafting from restaurants and street vendors, the sounds of different languages and calls to prayer were so unlike everything I had known in Greenwich. The experience left an indelible impression.
Yet it wasn’t until years later, when I traveled again to Eastern and Islamic countries, that I began to incorporate the sensibility of those cultures into my artwork. I also find inspiration in the nature of the East End—the reflections of the water, the play of sunlight through the fog, and the colors of the sky at ‘the magic hour’ all make their way into even the most abstract of my paintings. For me, however, painting is not the reproduction of nature as much as the dynamism of visual forces. I do not want to reproduce the visible, I want to create an experience of perception.” — PB
Perry Burns was born in New York in 1956. He received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1988.
Burns has lived on the East End of Long Island for the past twenty-five years and has exhibited widely in the area and beyond. His solo shows include: Cheryl Hazan Gallery, New York; ARC Fine Arts, Larchmont, NY; the Islip Art Museum; the Scope Art Fair in London; Sara Nightingale Gallery in Watermill, NY; Lizan Tops Gallery in East Hampton, NY; and Comerford Hennessey in Bridgehampton, NY. Group shows include: Ille Arts and Neoteric Fine Art, Amagansett, NY; Silas Marder Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY; the Artists Chose Artists show at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, NY.; Guild Hall, folioeast and Spanierman Gallery, East Hampton,NY; Spainerman Modern in New York; ArtAspen and ArtHamptons.
rotating exhibit of current & recently sold work
PERRY BURNS speaks to folioeast’s COCO MYERS
CM/ YOU ARE KNOWN FOR YOUR OIL PAINTINGS. WHY OIL?
PB/ I find it to be the richest, vibrant and most versatile medium. I build up layers of oil paint, sometimes as many as fifteen to twenty, then strip the painting back using sanders, scrapers, etc. to reveal previous layers and thus, the "history" of the painting.
CM/ ARE YOU INSPIRED OR INFLUENCED BY THE HISTORY OF THE ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONIST MOVEMENT ON THE EAST END?
PB/ Yes, my first studio out here was across the street from the Pollock/Krasner house, and in the neighborhood of Willem de Kooning. I had been studying the abstract expressionists for years and was very influenced by them, though I eventually moved toward other elements in my painting, also being influenced by Islamic art and its sense of history, time, pattern, and repetition.
CM/ DO YOU HAVE ANY WORKS BY EAST END ARTISTS IN YOUR HOME?
PB/ I have works by Donald Baechler, Richmond Burton, and Yung Jake, all of whom used to live on the East End, as well as Darlene Charneco, Alice Hope, Philippe Cheng, and Margaret Garrett, all of whom I love.