Week 4 – Artist Conversation – Scott Burnes


CSULB has many students, ranging from freshmen to seniors to graduate. However, it is rare that we run into special students that are considered to be “open enrollment” students of the university. I had the opportunity to meet one of these talented students and his name is Scott Burnes.

Scott Burnes has an interesting take on art. It is unique in the sense that it is blatantly “absurd”. Burnes has always been interested in art. Since childhood, he had always liked to draw and sculpt, particularly monsters like most young children. It’s always been a passion for him. With this passion, Burnes was also an athlete as he played sports for a lot of his life as well.

Recently, he began to explore his artistic side as he was given the opportunity to do so, as a result of a broken shoulder. He began to experiment with the colors and designs. He dove into the concept of “absurdity” when he gathered inspiration from his friend. His friend had asked him why his work was “so boring”. As a response, Burnes gained motivation to do something better with his art.

Tragedy struck young Burnes after he found out his friend had passed on this past summer. The “absurd” art is a mark for Burnes, a symbol of remembrance of his friend. As this was a take on the more personal events of his life, he really began to divert his work away from his own personality with the hopes that people would be able to relate to the art. In his eyes, it is about the empathy.

It is no question that Burnes’ art has multiple elements that one would initially guess contributed to the overall absurdity of the art. The colors did factor into the “absurdity” of the works; however, after speaking with Burnes, he suggests that the bright colors did not contribute to the overall mood. The “awful” colors were mere experiments and were not intended to blend and mesh so well as a result. He even claims to have mixed glazes and added ingredients for different, colorful effects. It took Burnes three weeks to complete his series of works.

Burnes has a Bachelor’s Degree in studio art and is currently seeking to attain his Master’s. He is on his way to a bright future with art (no pun intended). His calm personality and distinct perspective on art will carry him into better and better days.


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