Artist: Robert Xavier Burden
Title: The Fish Painting
Medium: Hahnemuhle William Turner fine-art paper.
Edition: 1 of 75
Height (inches): 20
Width (inches): 30
Depth (inches): 1
Signed by the artist
Signed Area: front
Description of piece:
Enjoy this sensational, hyper-detailed print from acclaimed artist, Robert Xavier Burden. This a beautiful print copy of Robert's 7' x 12' original work. The original painting took over 1300 hours of studio time spread out over 14 months. It depicts a mako shark surrounded by 80 different fish-related toys from various generations.
In 2006, Robert began a series of large-scale oil paintings depicting the small action figures that he played with as a boy. Initially these figures were set against fabric, wallpaper, and rug patterns from his childhood home. Over the years the decorative motifs have become more complex and derived from historical references, often incorporating toys from various generations, but the motivation behind the work remains the same. Robert is inspired by the amorphous line that is drawn between imagination and reality, childhood wonder and adult practicality, and the ineffability of what can turn a piece of plastic into an almost talismanic object. There is an obvious irony in spending thousands of hours to create a single painting that glorifies a cheap, mass-produced toy. And while that irony could reflect issues of commodity fetishism, consumer addiction, Peter Pan Syndrome or even shallow idolatry, Robert believes these paintings to represent something positive in his life. Although it was sheltered and naive, there was a freedom in his childhood. It was free from the politics of race and sex and religion. It was free from the weight of history. It was free from rhetoric and paranoia, shame and regret, cynicism and despair. There is nothing profound about commenting on the minor tragedy of losing one's innocence, or the struggle to maintain one's idealism. But, as Robert says, "I just want to renew my faded sense of awe."
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