Original Myth is a survey of recent works by Burden featuring a selection of his large scale paintings,

recent smaller works, and a limited edition print run.


Original Myth is a reinvention of contemporary culture produced in a postwar era. Mass produced,

packaged, and sold in bulk, Burden asks us to question whether or not originality is still a concept that we

can grapple with and utilize in our present day cultural landscape. Burden appropriates popular culture like

Star Wars characters, Thundercats, Batman, and Transformers and assembles them in larger than life,

highly detailed paintings. His technique harkens back to the techniques of master painters, utilizing intricate

time-consuming details, chiaroscuro, and countless hours invested into painting on a large scale. His works

are easy to get lost in with the amount of images compiled into one space, bringing his masterful technique

to popular light.


Being constantly barraged by media, images, and stories is overwhelming, and pinpointing the source can

become a heavy and winding task. Narrative styles and new stories become born out of something else

from where they started, propagating cultural myths that are both beneficial and problematic to local

discourse. Burden’s massive paintings are both an homage and condemnation to originality and newly

formed mythologies. With misinformation running rampant, his pieces are in a way an extension of this

perilous situation, creating lavishly detailed works that are an amalgam of what we choose to elevate in

modern culture.


Original Myth will be on view at Gregorio Escalante Gallery from January 7 - February 5, 2017 with an

public opening reception Saturday, January 7 from 7-10pm.


About Robert Xavier Burden

Robert Xavier Burden was born in Hamilton, Ontario. He received his BFA from Queen's University in 2005,

and his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2007. He was a recipient of the Murphy-Cadogan

Fellowship and the Irene Pijoan Memorial Painting Award. He has exhibited his work throughout North

America, and is part-time faculty at SFAI and CCSF. He currently lives and paints in the Bayview

neighborhood of San Francisco.