Moments in Time
An Interview with Master Painter Christopher Burlini
By Jana Soeldner Danger
Artists become known for their particular styles, but events in an artist’s life can lead to major changes in artistic expression. That is the case with painter Christopher Burlini. Burlini, trained by Italian masters, paints and teaches at the Burlini Studio of the Arts in Boca Raton, Florida. His recent collection, “Moments in Time,” exemplifies such a change.
Burlini’s new style reflects an end to earlier struggles and a turn to the wonder and peace in his present life, the result of his moves from Chicago, San Francisco and Miami Beach, and the opening of his own studio that he runs successfully with his partner Belinda. “Artists paint where we are and how we’re feeling, and the last 10 years have changed my life,” he said. “It’s gotten better.” His paintings now are very different from those of the past. “It’s a complete 180 from the heavy innuendos and darker explorations in my earlier work,” he said. “I’m communicating with my audience through happiness and fun now.”
The immediate catalyst for change was very personal. Gorda – Spanish for chubby – a beloved rescue dog and constant companion for years, passed away while he was completing a painting. It seemed like a sign. “I took her everywhere, and she’d always been beside me while I worked,” he said. “I thought, if I’m going to make a change, now is the time. Sometimes you have to walk through a new door.”
To the Beach
The new paintings portray beach scenes with elongated, impossibly thin figures enjoying the beach during everyday moments. “I’m a surrealist at heart,” Burlini said. “I wanted to modify that by keeping the root of abstraction with the quality of the moment of reality. Each beach scene has an individual thought, a subtly private conversation.”
Circles superimposed over the figures draw the eye and create the illusion of movement. “It’s like the movement of a wave, or a little interference — a tug of war between the figures and the circles,” he said. “Our eyes are geared to see just so much at a time, and one minute eyes are locked on the figures, and the next on the circles.”
Although the collection now includes smaller works, the original paintings were oversized, 10-to-12 foot canvases that could be placed individually, or together to create more complex scenes. “When they were towering over you, it was like you were sitting on the beach,” Burlini said.
The Burlinis introduced the works through an unconventional pop-up gala that began with a “Willy Wonka” challenge. “It was a complete gamble,” Burlini said. “I sent out golden tickets with candy bars. People had no idea what to expect. We asked the question, ‘Are you willing to go on an adventure into the unknown?’ “We’re humbled and flattered with the response,” he continued. “We are creating our own identity in the art world by keeping exclusivity to our work.” A pop-up gala offers people a unique opportunity — a personal involvement in which to experience the artist and his work. There is a welcoming atmosphere of celebration, entertainment, and excitement.
Although, Burlini still works with galleries and having his own studio has allowed him a larger platform to showcase his work. “The art world has changed, today, with the power of social media, artists are taking more responsibility, becoming more business-oriented. It’s very rewarding!”
Editor’s note: To see more of Burlini’s Moments in Time, and to read more about his captivating past, go to InternationalOpulence.com or BurliniArt.com.