Interview with Greg Burak

Could you give us a brief introduction to who you are and what kind of work you make? 

My name is Greg Burak and I make figurative paintings. The paintings are about the tension that is present in uncertain situations.

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works? 

Lately film has been heavily influencing my work. I think about how conflict drives a plot forward, in anticipation of a resolution. I look for the potential of that sustained anticipation when I am painting.

What types of obstacles have you run into in your artistic practice and how do you go about navigating around them? 

Walking the line between developing the narrative and formal elements of the painting has been a challenge for me recently. At different points in the process one inevitably becomes the driving force. Allowing myself to make massive changes during the course of a work that could significantly alter my original idea is how I navigate that.

What do you feel are the recurring themes in your visual work?  

Escape has been a theme that has been a recurring theme lately in my work, as well as the idea of unseen forces at play.

Is there a particular artist you feel you relate to? Who are your role models (artists or non-artists)?

I’ve always had an affinity for Corot. I love the way he handled paint and harmonized color.

What is the best piece of artistic advise you've been given?

I’ve received an incredible amount of great advice from many wonderful people over the years. If I had to pick one that I return to most often, one of my professors in Grad School, Tim Kennedy, would say “trust the strangeness.” It gave me permission to trust my intuition, in both formal decisions and conceptual ideas, and allowed me to make choices that were more idiosyncratic.

 

Check out Greg's work, currently in our exhibition, Under Way