Artist Portfolio Magazine’s 10 Art Competition
Aaron Burks – Gridley, CA
The world of the sailor is one of challenge, pride, exoticism, adversity and even tragedy. My work seeks to express these traits on both large scale and personal terms, telling these visual “sea stories” to a wide audience. I draw my subject inspiration from my own experiences as a sailor as well as from those who continue to sail in warships.
I create this work because I feel that the Sea has made me who I am today. In essence, it has become a part of me. Like many things people fall in love with, the Sea can be both beautiful and majestic, or cruel and unmerciful. While much of my work may bring a sense of familiarity to former or current sailors, I hope to bring the story to the layman as well. Using items and arts familiar to a life at sea as devices to tell the story, I am immersing the viewer in the world of the sailor. Size is also a factor when conveying the story, whether large and overwhelming to small, inviting the viewer to step in closer, I make these decisions based on the story being told. Many of the frames are hand built by me. This makes not just the work itself personal, but the surrounding window to the view personal as well.
Some of the work here has led to ideas for my next projects, exploring more in depth a particular subject that I dealt with while aboard ship, but still has great and sometimes tragic effects on sailors today. In this I hope to hash out my thoughts on my own time at sea while staying connected with those still on the ocean, telling their story to you. Ultimately, I want these works to be inspiring to those who have not spent time at sea, as well as bring a renewed sense of pride to those who have.
Aaron Burks received his BFA from the University of Tennessee in 2015. In 2017 he won 2nd Place out of more than 2000 entries in the National Veterans Creative Arts Competition, hosted by the Dept. of Veteran Affairs. He now lives in Gridley, CA where he is the owner/curator of The Paint Locker Fine Art Gallery.
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