It’s safe to say that AJ Burns is a hot name in the local art scene right now. His large format paintings are alive with movement and colour, at once abstract and yet still able to convey familiar forms that draw the viewer in.
In the one and a half years that he has been creating this type of work, AJ has sold a whopping 38 pieces and has won the prestigious SANAVA Vuleka 2022 prize. He is also represented by a large and ever-growing collection of galleries across the Western Cape. We’re so pleased to have him as our feature artist for the month of February.
How AJ Burns discovered his painting technique
In a recent article by Safair INflight magazine, AJ explains how he got started with his technique:
“I was dragged to an art class by a neighbour. This same neighbour gave me a large canvas and the use of her garage, so I started playing with acrylics, but since the garage had no electricity, I could not use a hairdryer or heat gun to blow the paint around the canvas. So then I started blowing with my mouth! I loved the effect it created – the movement of one colour through another.”
The result is a method using several litres of paint, his own breath to blow the paint in specific directions, as well as the law of gravity to encourage the paint to move around the canvas. Since acrylic paint dries quickly, he has to work decisively, starting and finishing a work in one sitting.
Giving in to chance
“It took me a while to accept that chance has a role to play in the process of creating my art.”
“I love the unpredictability of it,” he explains in the article for Safair INFlight. “The paint seems to come to life – it keeps moving even when I’ve stopped blowing it. And the colours change during the drying process.
“I love creating something aesthetically pleasing. And I love the surprise of the technique.”
His works feature subjects such as swimming koi fish and kite surfers, as well as abstracts using vibrant contrasting colours blown into mesmerising forms.
Learn more about AJ Burns by visiting ajburns.co.za and be sure to pop in at the gallery during the month of February to see the pieces for yourself.
Got a question about this featured artist or interested in a particular piece you’ve seen? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0835642493.