Burke’s work is displayed through Dec. 31 at JoAnne Artman Gallery, 326 N. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, 949-510-5481, joanneartmangallery.com
Describing himself as “a recovering advertising photographer and commercial director with 20 years of digital imaging skills,” Burke fuses photos with painterly techniques to create works with influences as varied as Hieronymus Bosch and Dr. Seuss. This is part of a series in which Burke uses images of vintage costume jewelry to create art that explores spirituality and the afterlife.
Burke collects jewelry at swap meets and estate sales, and photographs each piece individually on a white background for his digital database. To create his work, he selects a few images and manipulates them to create the composition and color scheme. Works take between two weeks and three months to complete, and he often has two to four in progress simultaneously.
This interprets Revelations 12:7-9, in which the devil, as a serpent, is cast out of heaven. “Great stuff, that Bible—awesome imagery and storytelling, regardless of one’s religion. I’m ambivalent about religion generally, and more interested in spirituality and human desires.” Creating this image led Burke to read “Paradise Lost,” which inspired another piece, “The Mind Is Its Own Place.”
Browse a gallery of J.T. Burke here
This article originally appeared in the December 2012 issue.