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Marty Burns  Chicago, IL

* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.

About Marty

In the early spring of 1982 my two gypsy parents found a small child in the crook of a tree, that child sustained my family for 8 weeks until the snow thawed and we were able to make our way to a nearby encampment. My mother, a crystal healer and palm reader by trade, bartered with the locals for provisions and supplies. In the meantime my father seduced the locals with soapbox tales of a mystical herb he called “Lawry’s seasoning salt.” My brother and I amused ourselves with games of chance until my family was well enough to move on. We crossed the desert, two oceans, and a very large termite mound until we found ourselves passage on a Nantucket Whaler headed for the Galapagos. The trip was ill-fated, and here we remain, adrift.

About the piece above:

The above piece is Marty’s MFA Thesis Exhibition. It features a customized steel coffin, silicone cast, handmade costume, uncounted number of red roses, prayer cards, etc. In the piece a fictitious war comes to a decided end with the death and presentation of the corpse of “the general.”

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10 of 26 reactions displayed

"This was a powerful piece of art work--I saw it in person--she reflected the consequences of war & the tragedy of death, not to mention the rites & rituals of burial, death & dying--people leave flowers for the dead--in western cultures, so the roses make sense--in other cultures we use white cloth or fake silver coins.--a coffin is just a sign of respect,that the people we lose meant something to us & we want them to be protected-- I think this art respects & honors the living & the dying & the dead."

"this was a powerful piece of work--i saw it in perom"

"-Unfortunately, everyone is viewing this piece out of context of an entire year of a collaboration based around a fictional war that attempted to confront the values associated with war heroes, in life and death, the roles of women in war and the home front. Ultimately in all of my work, I am considering the value of life.-Yes myself in a coffin at the end of grad school is another context.-Someone was curious about real life reactions: my professors and colleagues loved it, gallery owners and curators not so much.-I am not concerned with selling: if you are always chasing the market, you will always be behind it. You have to wait for the market to come to you!-If anyone would like to continue the conversation or be added to my mailing list please visit my website and send me an email."

"Dear John,You are not being flipped off. If there was a statement would it be "contributing to culture"?. Or would the statement be contributing? Would you like it more if the artist took you through every little step and decision so you could understand it? Why don't you try thinking when you look at art instead of thinking about what the artist says their work is about."

"deal with it, not all art will be explained to you. You are not being flipped off. Does any art contribute to culture? Or is it the artist's explanation that contributes to culture? would it be easier for you to swallow if every detail of the work was explained to you?"

"For some reason I am highly attracted to this piece...I would prefer real roses and a real body(an actor or myself) I would feel it would bring more emotions or thoughts... or have the body face down.looks great though."

"I'm not sure why but I'm highly attracted to this piece.I don't find anything wrong with it and I am not offended."

"Well, I think it's okay. I like the overwhelming colour of red. It makes it pop, I suppose. Although it would make more sense if 'the general' was dressed in a contrasting color, like black, white or even green. That's just what I think. But to each his own. ;3"

"Although I agree that this is a welcome change from the usual presentations, it is impossible to garner the full effect from an installation piece through looking at it on a monitor. I wish I could have experienced it. Thank you Marty. I'd be curious to know what your experience has been like with this piece."

"It is offensive to me when an artist puts something like this forward and then flips me off with his explanation. Sure it garners a swell collection of comments and splash, but what does it contribute to culture? Seems like an exercise in megalomania. When artists position themselves above their viewers they are harmful."

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