200 x 160 cm | 78 x 62 in
Original painting in oil on canvas.
Original painting in oil on linen.
"This painting depicts a scene from the life of Peter the Great, Tsar of Russia (1672-1725) when he visited the Dockyard at Deptford (the site of the Pepys Estate). Peter stands on the left with his foot resting on the timber he has been sawing, I am the central figure with the English King William of Orange to the right in sombre but luxurious attire."
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.