THE BLOG

Interview: A Conversation with Jonny Burt

29/08/2013 13:52 BST | Updated 27/10/2013 09:12 GMT

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All images courtesy of Jonny Burt

Jonny Burt, a London based artist, is as charismatic as they come. Good looking, confident and above all talented, his work is beginning to attract noticeable attention. Burt, who started drawing from an early age, was like many young boys, enthralled by all things scary. "I've always been obsessed with monsters, my parents are responsible people I assure you ha! But I watched all the Alien films from a very young age. The Predator films, sci-fi classics and for some reason I was just fascinated. I was fascinated with H R Giger's designs and I would relentlessly copy them, I suppose I developed drawing skills from that."

A self-taught artist, his work effortlessly blends dark social satire with bursts of vibrant colour. This contrast between light and dark is integral to his style as he notes "I'll see something in the media, maybe an image, something that I want to kinda twist and turn on its head. I'll bring in collage, the dark and the colourful is what I love. Juxtaposing that really dark provocative style with colour. It offsets it, you might have a really dark message but it's got that splash of colour". Drawing inspiration from contemporary artist such as Antony Micallef, Burt's work focuses on images that meld fine art with the darker elements of street art.

The importance of self promotion is absolutely vital and like any young creative in the 21st century he understands the power of social media as a networking tool, "It's absolutely invaluable. I've been learning this more and more, it's a gift for artists. Just putting your work out there because it is a platform. Galleries discover artists through that, I almost see it as saturate Google with as much information as I can!".

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Burt's artwork was recently featured in an exhibition curated by Carne Griffiths in aid of Great Ormond Street Children's hospital. He was asked to be a part of the exhibition after becoming friends with Griffiths on face book. "I saw him [Griffiths] through Hunger magazine, I saw his work, loved it, and basically I just got in contact with him through facebook. We maintained a relationship through facebook, the internet is a gift for artists, ended up purely by coincident appearing in a Canadian magazine together, next to each other, built a relationship and then a few months ago he invited me to be involved with it. Damien Hirst had work in there so it was great. It was the first time I had properly gone public with my work, I've had a lot of nice international press this year which has happened very quickly, but that was my first proper traditional exhibition".

One of the pieces displayed at the exhibition was taken from Burt's 'Regressive' series. A series that examines complex thoughts on consumer culture and dependency. "I did that whilst I was at university actually. That was sort of looking at the idea that with consumer culture and the more advanced we get, the more dependent we become on technology and brands to be accepted socially, we almost lose our autonomy. It's quite an extreme view and I've exaggerated it obviously, but as a series it's me at different ages, the younger I become the more defaced I become. And I guess it's sort of a countdown to an explosion I suppose. It's very dark but that's what I'm trying to do."

Exciting times are ahead for Burt who has recently been involved in the creation of a new gallery, The Unit London. "I am launching a brand new contemporary art gallery, The Unit London, in an incredible West London location and it's opening night is the 5th September 2013 with a very exciting line-up confirmed".

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