Artist Joe Burns has lived many lives. Raised by Catholic charities, Burns has been a restaurateur, cab driver, bartender, and flea market junk man. He joined the army at 18; studied painting at the Pratt Institute and poetry with Pearl London in his 30s. Strange lives make for storied art. Currently on view at The Manhattan Art & Antiques Center, the exhibition of Joe Burns’ sensitive hyperrealist paintings draws you into the private worlds of other people’s lives.
Burns’ art is inspired by found photographs, and live models, many of whom are prostitutes. Painted with frank vulnerability, the feeling in Burns’ lonely figures is drawn from autobiography as much from the subjects. Yet often coupled with original poems, and sometimes included in multi-part series, the paintings tell complex stories that go beyond both himself and subject. “I am always the most amazed at the stories I tell,” Burns says. “Because I really have no idea where they come from.”
Through his incredibly skillful hyperrealism, Burns challenges and invites the viewer to join him in the fourth dimension–the hyper-dimension where many layers of subtle brushwork have rendered a magnified reality; life larger than life. This is Joe Burns’ third exhibition at The Manhattan Art & Antiques Center. He has previously exhibited at the National Arts Club. On view on through Saturday, October 31, 2015, in Gallery 28 on the street level of The Manhattan Art & Antiques Center, 1050 Second Avenue. Hours: 10:30 to 6:00 Mon-Sat, noon to 6:00 Sun.