Lael Burns

Revival's Seed No. 11

 Lael Burns,  Revival’s Seed 11 , foam, acrylic, modeling paste, spray paint, glitter, tulle, pins, ribbon, vellum, and graphite, 9 x 10 x 3.5 inches, 2016

Lael Burns, Revival’s Seed 11, foam, acrylic, modeling paste, spray paint, glitter, tulle, pins, ribbon, vellum, and graphite, 9 x 10 x 3.5 inches, 2016

I utilize material and sensory experience as a means to explore meaning. Material is worked until there is a shift into another realm: fabric becomes flesh, a sack, or an embryo, pins become candy, paint becomes a skin of strawberry ice- cream or bubble gum, a pom pom becomes a microorganism or disease. My work strives to have a visceral presence by virtue of formal aesthetics, often riding the line between what is beautiful, grotesque and delicious. This speaks to various dichotomies I often reference in my work, such as light and dark, spirit and flesh.

From the Heart

  From the Heart , acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 14 x 11 inches, 2016

From the Heart, acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 14 x 11 inches, 2016

Working on muscle cars was a large part of my adolescence, so I often reference this aesthetic in the form of flame jobs, pin striping designs, and metal flake-like glitter paint. While alluding to the idea of “eye candy” and the obsessive customization and adornment often associated with car culture, these visually ornamental aspects of the work also carry spiritual meaning. At times they may point to things in life that are fleeting and carnal, the lusts of the eye and impure motives of the heart. However, flames can also symbolize the idea of inner refinement, as in the burning away of impurities. Ornamental hood decals and sparkly paint can speak to the visual softening of something hard and made of steel as metaphor for the softening of the heart.

Eyes of Fire

  Eyes of Fire , watercolor, acrylic, spray paint, graphite, and glitter on paper, 8 x 6 inches, 2016

Eyes of Fire, watercolor, acrylic, spray paint, graphite, and glitter on paper, 8 x 6 inches, 2016

I investigate the way playful craft materials such as glitter can be manipulated with other fine art components as a means of exploring connections between the visceral, graphic, sublime, and carnal. The organic forms I describe are synthetically adorned organs, wombs, and hearts that display the external evidence of internal rebirth and are a physical manifestation of things intangible and infinite.

 

Biography

Drawing from her personal spiritual experiences, Lael’s sculptures and paintings investigate the tensions between the intangible and material aspects of life. Lael earned her BFA from Southern Methodist University and her MFA from the University of Iowa, both with concentrations in painting. She exhibits her work regularly, including a solo exhibition at the Forth Worth Community Arts Center. Her work has been written about in Studio Visit Magazine, Art Habens Contemporary Review, and the International Fine Arts Fund and Create! Magazine blog. Lael recently completed a residency with An Artist Residency in Motherhood and currently lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.