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
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.