Eye Candy: Jon Burgerman reveals his 'route of escape' in cheerful new show in Boston
We could all do with a little lift right now. Enter one of our favourite doodlers, Jon Burgerman, who has revealed his latest body of work in a new exhibition in Boston. Eye Candy give us a glimpse at how the New York-based artist coped during the pandemic and it's as expected: full of amusing, goggly-eyed characters, bursting with colour and fun.
Joyful, humorous and full of colour, Burgerman's art has always raised a smile. Using a wide variety of media from ink, spray-paint, digital and animation, his vibrant creations manifest themselves in amusement, often an effort to make him laugh or distract his thoughts from outside pressures. This became particularly heightened during the lockdown in 2020.
"Art is my route of escape, not only from the world around me but the anxieties inside of me," he says. "I wanted to create a joyful, colourful space for people to visit, that shares how I managed to cope with the lockdown by focusing my attention on play and creativity. Hopefully visitors will come away with some of that energy and feel creatively inspired themselves."
On show at Praise Shadows gallery in Boston until 8 August, Eye Candy embodies the world of Burgerman's charming characters through works in various mediums – from drawing and painting to three-dimensional collectable items and books. Alongside the pizza faces and curious blobs, there's also a mural created on-site by the artist, providing a colourful backdrop to the canvases and works on paper installed along the mural.
The exhibition follows Burgerman's public art project Looking Out for Each Other last September which was commissioned by the Boston Seaport.
Burgerman's practice is focused on using creative play as a means of communication. Using shape, colour and expression, it's as if he's trying to solve a puzzle that has no obvious solution. The pieces eventually click and fit together in ways not always completely obvious. In many ways, these works are moments of self-reflection.
Originally from Birmingham, UK, Jon Burgerman has been a practicing artist for over 20 years. His instantly recognisable art has been exhibited all over the world from DIY exhibition spaces to museums to even the White House. His works are held in the permanent collections of institutions including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. And he has collaborated with brands including Apple, Samsung, Pepsi, Lotte, Snapchat, Instagram and Nike. He's made vinyl collectable toys, picture books, apparel, fabric collections, inflatables, homeware, sportswear, underwear and many other things, including NFTs.
Expressing creativity and having fun is key to Burgerman's practice. "Simple creative acts can allow people to change not only their world but the world around them," he says.
Eye Candy by Jon Burgerman at Praise Shadows in Boston runs until 8 August 2021. To find out more about the artist, visit jonburgerman.com. Or listen to our podcast with Jon from last year, just before the pandemic hit.