Kelvin Burzon

Interview

Why do you take and create images?

I create images because I must get them out of my head. Imageries have the tendency to pester within an artist’s mind. Creating, in any form, from notes, sketches, to final pieces is a way for me to stay sane. My artistic practice becomes a cathartic experience.

How do you define your photographic/artistic body of work? What subjects do you often explore in your work?

I would define my imagery as romantic, beautiful, neoclassical with a hint of novelty, criticism, and controversy. My photographs speak the same language that of baroque and renaissance religious art does but with a new purpose and new content.
My work explores intersections of sexuality, gender, race and Catholicism. I examine social constructs, or how religion has affected our definitions of sexuality, gender and race.

What motivates your work?

Aside from catharsis, my work is motivated by my sheer fascination and obsession with the grandeur of the Catholic Church’s imagery. I want to relay my experience to a larger audience and discuss the conflicts and beauty within, existing in a LGBTQ+ community and a religion driven society.

What relationship does your work have with reality?

Well, photography has a complex relationship with reality alone, but that’s for a larger discussion. My work feeds off of my very own reality and the reality of those that I photograph as well as the people within my marginalized communities. Even with reality as a source of inspiration my work translates that reality into a fantastical, dramatized, and aestheticized image.

For you, what is the purpose of art?

The purpose of art, for me, is to inspire future art making and to incite thought. I’ve always thought that art making is a selfish act of self-fulfillment and an obsession with sharing/leaving behind a legacy.

How do you want the public to respond to your work? Do you have a particular audience in mind?

I want the public to be lured in by my imagery but to experience the conflict and to encourage a conversation. My audiences are those that can look critically and think with their eyes.

What is your training? Were you trained as a photographer?

I studied studio art and art history at Wabash College. During my time there, I studied painting abroad in Florence, Italy. There I studied several mediums, from painting to performance art. From there, I studied in Indiana University and received my Master of Fine Arts degree in Photography.

How do you define your actual professional situation? What are your expectations?

I’m new to the scene, new to the art world, eager but not dying to be discovered and to make it big. My time will come.

It’s hard to live off art. Does this affect you and your work?

Yes, my work was never made to be a moneymaker. It’s meant to be consumed in very specific spaces and in controlled contexts. My artistic practice goes beyond that of just creating. I use the talents I’ve gained and training to support my practice.

Have you worked with gallerists, curators, institutions and other art professionals? Can you discuss more about this particular relationship?

Yes, It’s a very complicated yet simple relationship. There’s always the aspect of competition and criticism when looking at other artists but its what we’re trained to do. We have eyes and we have a brain, hence we see and we think. It’s how we grow and help each other develop.

 


CV

Name: Kelvin Burzon

Adjunct Instructor of Phototography, University of Cincinnati: Cincinnati, OH

Lives in Bloomington, Indiana USA

Email: kelvin.burzon@gmail.com

Website: kelvinburzon.com

Education:

Masters of Fine Arts, Photography 2017, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Exhibitions:

2017: Noli Me Tangere: Dimensions Gallery | Solo Exhibition | Bloomington, IN

2017: 12 Inches of Sin VI: Sin City Gallery | Jurried Show | Las Vegas, NV

2017: Noli Me Tangere Graduate Thesis Exhibition: Grunwald Gallery of Art| Solo | Indiana University: Bloomington, IN

2017: National Society of Arts and Letters 2017 Highlights | Jurried Show | Ivy Tech John Waldrons Arts Center: Bloomington, IN

2017: A Rush and a Push: Fuller Projects | Group Exhibition | ndiana University: Bloomington, IN

2017: National Society of Arts and Letters 2017 Exhibit | Jurried Show | National Society of Arts and Letters: Bloomington, IN

2016: What Keeps You Up At Night?: The Arts at CIIS| Travelling Show | California Institute of Integral Studies: San Francisco, CA (Curated by Tomiko Jones, SPEMCC)

2016: Wake Up Call: Fuller Projects | Group Exhibition | Indiana University: Bloomington, IN

2016: Indian Photography Festival: State Art Gallery | Jurried Show | Hyderabad, Madhapur

2016: Robert’s Gallery Night: Roberts Camera Jurried Show | Indianapolis, Indiana

2016: It’s Political: Gallery 114 Jurried Show | Portland, Oregon

2016: Auckland Festival of Photography | Jurried Show | Auckland, New Zealand

2016: MFA show: Grunwald Gallery
Group Exhibition | Indiana University: Bloomington, IN

2015: In Your Skin: Fuller Projects
Group Exhibition | Indiana University: Bloomington, IN

2015: 15th China Pingyao International Photography Festival | Jurried Show | Pingyao, China

2015: MFA show: Grunwald Gallery
Group Exhibition | Indiana University: Bloomington, IN

2014: Brewskies: Wunderkammer Company Group Exhibition | Fort Wayne, IN

2014: Annual Postcard Show: Mirro Family Gallery Group Exhibition | Artlink: Fort Wayne, IN

2012: Senior Art Majors Exhibition: Eric Dean Gallery Group Exhibition | Wabash College: Crawfordsville, IN