A portrait is an artistic representation of a person. Through history the nature of a portrait
has changed from a direct depiction to a more abstracted representation. The artistʼs
expression of the subject is the predominant and key feature of a portrait, yet with Urban
Evolution™ PORTRAITS PROJECT Burton has challenged this notion. Typically an
artist presents a portrait of a person as he or she sees him, but with ʻPortraits Projectʼ
Burton is allowing the world to tell him how they see that person.
Urban Evolution™ PORTRAITS PROJECT is Burtonʼs own personal brand of street art
where he posts a portrait around cities like New York, Paris, New Orleans, London,
Miami, San Francisco and Los Angeles, after which he then photographs the evolution of
the portraits on the streets by contributions from passer-bys, street artists and the
weather. With this co-creation, the portrait is an honest and true reflection of the publicsʼ
sentiment, and as Burton sees it, a conversation. Burton observes this on-going
“dialogue” until he feels that the “exchange” has reached a state of accomplished
maturity before deciding that the image is complete.
The finished works are reactive and spontaneous bodies of art that are dynamically
vibrant and honest depictions of the subjects created by a collective effort and its
American photographer and artist, Burton Machen, was
born in Ashville, Alabama in 1970; seduced by the
television show Fame, he ran away from home to New York
at the young age of 16, and has since lived in Washington
DC, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Rio de Janeiro. Nowadays,
he divides his time between Los Angeles and New York
photographing street art and urban decadence.
Burton's affection for Street Art lies with the collage-like
masterpieces in urban terrains that are manifested through the collective efforts of
contingent artists and incidental elements feeding-off and adding-on to each other. Thus,
fuelling his conviction that street art is a compelling model for expression, perfectly
capable of infiltrating and affecting our thoughts and attitudes without our awareness or
Recently, Burton was included in 'The Whitney Art Party' and 'The Warholian', honored
by Eric Shiner, the Director of The Andy Warhol Museum alongside other great artists
like Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and Andy Warhol.
giclée print on matte archival paper
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