Technique Talk is a weekly online Alive feature that spotlights the process of a Columbus artist. Know someone we should talk to? Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When painter Christopher Burk moved back to Columbus from New York last year, he found an unexpected muse in his hometown — his hometown. In addition to Columbus’ thriving and supportive arts scene, Burk found a lot of inspiration in looking upward. His paintings are re-creations of skyscapes in Columbus neighborhoods, power lines, rooftops and all. Lonely, meditative, Burk’s paintings remind viewers that answers can be found in the most unexpected places. You can see Burk’s work at MadLab theater downtown through July 20 and at Short North’s Image Optical the last two weeks of August. Burk is also one of 12 Junctionview ex-pats working out of a new Grandview studio called Tacocat Cooperative (it's a palindrome!); I think it’s fair to expect some events from those artists soon, too. Until then, Burk’s thoughts on his craft.
What kind of art do you make and why?
I am an urban landscape painter. I’ve always had a love affair of the landscape and even more so with cityscapes.
When do you make art and why?
I’m always trying to make art regardless if I’m in my studio — at the park or even on a lunch break from my day job. Either there’s a sketchbook in hand or my iPhone is being used to snap away at images. I’m always searching the landscape for the potential of a new painting.
How often do you make art?
I try to make art everyday even if that means only being able to work for a short while after work throughout the week.
Where do you make art?
Tacocat Co-operative. I make art because I have no other choice. The need to make art is an internal voice that tells me that I must.
What has been inspiring your work lately?
I moved back to Columbus earlier last year after living for a number of years in NYC. The growth of this town and its ever evolving/ closely knit arts scene truly pulled me back in. Over the past year and a half I’ve developed a newfound love affair with my hometown. So I would have to say that Columbus is my current muse.
What advice that you’ve found invaluable would you give a new artist?
Do what you love! Find your niche and always work on developing your skills and investing time in to what you’re producing. I know it may sound cliché but practice really DOES make perfect!
What do you do while you work?
Music has to always be on while I’m working, thanks to iTunes and Spotify. That could be anything from Fleet Foxes to Mozart to Billie Holiday, the more random the mix the better, in my opinion. My current addiction is Spotify’s Classical radio station.
Do you ever experience artist’s block?
On occasions I do experience artist’s block. The best way for me to combat the block is to step out of my studio and to stick my head in art books. The influence of others always helps.
Three artists, living or dead that you would invite to a dinner party:
This is a difficult one because I can think of many more than three that I would love to invite to a dinner party but since the question only pertains to three then I’ll have to go with David Hockney, Fairfield Porter and Woody Allen.