He describes his artwork as “digital composite,” combining original photographs of costume jewelry and brass figurines to digitally form a composition that speaks to the concept of paradise.
Take a peek into Jeff Burke’s world and you’ll find his images “create scenes of exuberant life and utopian bliss,” he explained. “My images reflect interests in unique items from the physical world and notions that are dear to man’s soul.”
The South Pasadena resident, who worked many years as a commercial photographer, cinematographer and graphic designer, was an early adapter of digital photography. Burke uses collected objects to create compositions “that represent intangible human desires, myths and philosophies,” he noted. “My work contains color, light, and figure that are generated by the energy of thousands of small images.”
The result, he says, is ornate, telling tales of life forces unbounded by reality. “I try to make them of valuable beauty, that people can own forever and cherish,” he said of his work offered in small print quantities.
For 20 years, Burke was product photographer “shooting little plates of food.” While he still dabbles in it, much of his time today is photographing “jewelry and thinking about paradise.”
Searching swap meets and yard sales for discarded pins, broaches, figurines and trophies, Burke captures the images “to create compositions of surreal wonder,” he said. “I explore the human obsession with paradise. In my mind, my images speak to concepts of beauty, afterlife and man’s role in the universe.”
Costume jewelry and brass figurines, explained Burke, are the building blocks for his works because “they are a tangible representation of man-made beauty, just as paradise is its ultimate portrayal.”
On his website, JTBurke.com, Jeff calls attention to his artwork by saying, “It’s a concoction of our own devices created to comfort us from the rigors of daily life and the sorrows of the human condition. Paradise gives us hope for something meaningful beyond this mortal life. It’s a beautiful myth, so beautiful that even knowing it’s a myth only slightly diminishes its value. I call attention to the myth with my art.”
Burke’s images will be on display in the lobby area of the SouthPasadenan.com, 1127 Mission Street in South Pasadena, “until whenever,” he said with a laugh, encouraging the public to stop by and visit a sampling of his work.
“I always like the opportunity to show my images, especially in my home town because my work is all about paradise and I consider South Pasadena to be a little bit of paradise,” said the longtime local resident.
Twelve years ago, Burke and his wife, artist Lorraine Triolo, retired from their commercial photography business and opened BurkeTriolo Studio, 538 Mission Street in South Pasadena, to create personal works.
To reach Burke, call (626) 799-1405 or (310) 560-2740.