These paintings seek to explore the translation and mediation of the artist’s hand through various digital tools and software, such as the iPad, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. The paintings question the visual language of digital media and the subsequent effect upon our current and potential future relationship with the environment through the lens of painting. Through form and color, the subject matter incorporates depictions of quasi-dystopian, digitally fabricated flowers and remnants of the natural world in an effort to examine the precarious correlation between artifice and authenticity. The connection between humans and the rapidly changing climate, and our simultaneous dependence upon and detachment from these crucial ecosystems are significant themes. 

I am interested in the permeation of the news and current events into the serenity of this scenario, while remaining attentive to the ways in which the newly digitized and global world seep into our consciousness, regardless of location. 

Additional elements are derived from the current political climate, including visual interpretations and titles stemming from the political vernacular. The work explores the prescient qualities of the unconscious, and through the ambiguity of abstraction, seeks to elicit and actualize the prophetic qualities of the artist into tangible, visual objects. Digitally produced motifs, translated into paint, become stand-ins and symbols for impending ominous circumstances, shrouded in the guise of happy color and beaming with naïve and buoyant spirit.

These emblems signify the sweeping façade with which we are comfortable and allude to our culpability in mass deception—our eagerness to exist in our perceptions of reality.

Emily Burns (b. Warrenton, VA) is an artist, designer, and curator. She received her BFA in Drawing and Painting from Penn State University in University Park, PA in 2008. Her work has been exhibited both internationally and throughout the United States. Some of her recent exhibitions include solo exhibitions at Adventureland Gallery in Chicago, and the John Sloan Arts Center, at Lock Haven University. Her work was included in a recent three-person exhibition at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco, and recent group exhibitions at The Lodge Gallery and John Molloy Gallery in New York City, Trestle Gallery and Lorimoto Gallery  in Brooklyn, 24 Hour Charlie’s in Los Angeles, and Galleri Urbane in Dallas. Her work has been featured in print publication such as Four Magazine and Studio Visit Magazine, as well as online media such as Beautiful Decay, Hi-Fructose, and Juxtapoz. She has attended residencies at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA and Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT. She recently curated the group exhibition Deal With It at the Woskob Family Gallery in State College, PA and co-curated the group exhibition Kitsch at studio e galley in Seattle. She is the designer and editor of the contemporary art publication Maake Magazine. She is currently pursuing her MFA at The Pennsylvania State University. 

All images on this website copyright Emily Burns. All Rights Reserved.