101 x 101 cm | 37 x 37 in
Original painting using Farrow and Ball 'Arsenic' paint on canvas mounted onto plywood. (unframed - additional framed image for illustration only)
Inspired by my own experiences growing up on the Pepys (a council estate in Deptford, south London), my current practice investigates dystopian themes and ideas associated with British housing estates. These formative experiences are at the heart of my work: I am interested in exploring my roots and the urban context in which I grew up. Most of all, I am striving to understand how this has affected my visual aesthetic and behavior as an artist. I am very much interested in the notion of a city and how it affects our relationships with each other and the environment in which we live. I want my work to have a visceral quality and, rather than render an image in paint, my process is an exploration in letting the medium take over and create works that I would find very difficult to recreate.
Steve Burden constructs images laden with brutalist edges and heavy slabs of colour to express the juxtaposition of humans in urban environments. The works contain a sense of aggression and isolation which is accentuated by Burden’s aesthetic style of scraped-back paint and strong, solid, tonal range. Inspired by his upbringing in the “urban jungle” of London, his paintings contain architectural and figurative elements. The work is evocative of Friedrich Engels observations of the streets of London, “The very turmoil of the streets has something repulsive, something against which human nature rebels.” Burden, however, creates images that not only rebel against the bustling streets and forgotten housing estates but revel and excel within them.