Andy Burgess

 

Artist Biography:

Born and raised in London, the son of Shakespearian actor John Burgess, artist Andy Burgess originally studied political science at Leeds University before embarking on a career in art. In his last year of academic studies Burgess started teaching himself to draw and paint and went to evening classes at the renowned Jacob Kramer Art School in Leeds. Destined at that time for a career in journalism, having been the Arts Editor of the Leeds Student newspaper, Burgess switched track at the eleventh hour and applied for a “Foundation Course” in Art and Design at a college in London. This intensive course gave him a terrific grounding in life drawing and many other useful media, including sculpture and photography. Over the next few years Burgess turned his attention to another abiding passion, that of collage. Inspired by a retrospective of the work of Kurt Schwitters at The Centre Pompidou in Paris that he had seen some years earlier, Burgess began collecting ephemera to use in these small detailed and intricate works. Burgesses early collages, made with lo-fi materials such as tissue paper and masking tape now began to incorporate all manner of ephemera including ticket stubs, matchbooks, cigarette labels, vintage and found papers, as well as hand painted and stained papers made using ink and acrylics. Describing the style of his collage as “Pop Geometry” Burgess references a golden age of American advertising and graphic design from the 1930’s to 1960’s with it’s witty typographic flourishes and stylish Art Deco influences. The geometric impulse in the collage reflects Burgess’s ongoing fascination with early Twentieth Century art movements such as Bauhaus and Russian Constructivism which inspire his strong sense of graphic and architectural design. Gradually Burgess shifted his attention from abstract collages, often arranged in geometric shapes to cityscape collages with familiar cities such as New York, Chicago and San Francisco transformed into glittering mosaics of color. The matchbooks with their advertising slogans, hotel and restaurant signs proved to be the perfect building material for these pieces, creating an atmosphere both evocative and nostalgic.

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