Robert Burden at Roq la Rue gallery

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San Francisco artist Robert Burden has a new show opening at Seattle's Roq la Rue gallery. Burden's work depicts action figures from his youth in dramatic, epic oil paintings. Seen here, "Toy Biz' Captain America" (Marvel Super Heroes, 1989), oil on canvas, 33" x 101". The show, titled "Toybox," opens Friday March 14 and runs until April 5. From Burden's artist statement:

The "toyness" is important to me. I want the painted depiction of the toy to be better than the real object, but I still definitely want the painting to maintain the sense that this is a toy, that this is a commodity. Because this is about the glorification of the commodity. It's a commodity-driven culture, and a consumer-based culture. Anyone could make the argument that consumerism is North America's predominant religion, or predominant opiate of the masses. If it's not comsumerism, then it's film and television that are the cultural staples or opiates of choice. This is also why it's important for me to display the toy with the painting, it's like some kind of Saint's reliquary. It's an ironic devotional device. I'm glorifying the pop-culture, I loved the pop-culture, but I want to also depict the consumerist disposability of that same culture. I see, and love, the irony of spending hundreds of hours, and a great deal of my money (too much of my money!), in order to make a single object in honor of something that was cheaply mass-produced for millions of people. It's kind of Warholian, I guess, but I have a much greater affinity for GI Joe than I do for Campbell's Soup.

Link to show page, Link to preview of works