AJ Burns was born in Cape Town and has always had a love of Africa and strong ties to nature and in particular water and it’s movement.
As a child he drew and painted prodigiously. He was no angel however and would caddishly remove the paper labels (that included the name of the colour) from his colour-blind younger brother’s wax crayons. He now claims he was just helping him with “his tonal values… and a little abstraction”! At high school he was more than “encouraged to drop art for proper subjects”, like maths and physics. As a result, he studied Civil Engineering at UCT and was required to use a sharp pencil, set square and ruler – rather than the freedom of liquid paint on a canvas.
It took a chance meeting with an old friend 25 years later, a garage with no electricity and a couple of old canvases to experiment on, for AJ’s creative spark to be re-ignited. The constraints and solution seeking requirements of been an engineer, had at long last been cast aside and the artist was once again allowed to blossom. The result is something unique.
AJ creates large abstract pieces by blowing acrylic paint around large canvases - with his mouth!
He lays down one colour paint, then drops a second colour on top of it and then blows the second colour through the first. This creates vibrant movement and the distortion of form below the water surface. The effect is a bust of energy, colour and texture which create a range of emotions.
The subjects and compositions are inspired by the wide range of environments that AJ has had the privilege of travelling to, and the feeling these evoke.