Field of Flowers, 2011, Acrylic on Canvas, 24 x 24 Inches
Christina Burch’s paintings are inspired by a variety of art and cultural contexts, including her extensive travels in Italy, Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine education at the Swedish Institute in New York, Japanese and Tantric painting, and passion for Contemporary Art. Characterized by vivid color, stylized ornament, clean surfaces, lyrical imagery, and a poetic, sensuous and magical quality, Burch has gained an important global clientele. The artist when possible meets with her subject and together they decide on a setting, tone and composition for the portrait collaboration.
This piece started with some photos the artist took and an attempted to develop a fresh and poetic approach to portraiture. The beauty of the figure and portrait is universally one of the most compelling subjects in art and therefore ripe for further experimentation. Modern and contemporary portraiture brings to mind artists such as Marlene Dumas, Frida Kahlo, Alex Katz, Andy Warhol, Alice Neel and William Cotton. The photo that was selected to work from had a very classical expression, like an old Italian painting, but Burch wanted to do something very modern with it. Blair is an old Gaelic word for a field, which brought to mind the Italian word campo which also means field. In Rome, many are familiar with the famous Campo di Fiori or Field of Flowers, which is one of the city’s famous piazzas and the site of a beautiful outdoor market of flowers, fruits, produce and spices. This image, derived from her name, suited her and captured the idea of abundance, sensuality and something exotic. From there, the palette and imagery developed in a very fluid way, and the resulting image is quite lyrical.