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Steph Burr- Artist Statement

January, 2017

Chaos: n. often capitalized : a state of things in which chance is supreme;

especially : the confused unorganized state of primordial matter before the

creation of distinct forms —

We currently live in a time in which we have unlimited access to an

unprecedented amount of stimulation and information. Not only is there a

constant barrage of images and messages from social media, but we also have

virtually unrestricted access to human knowledge via the internet. Maximalism is

a response to the chaotic ethereal mass of information. It is an attempt to

rationalize and organize the chaos into a composition that is comprehensible and

thus aesthetically pleasing.

I believe that we, as humans, are evolving the ability once again to find

beauty in complexity. The maximalism movement is the logical next step in art’s

evolution, which is evidenced by the fact that there are thousands of different

artists exploring this style in some capacity. Maximalism transcends artistic

genres and can draw influence from anything an artist is inclined to explore. It is

truly limitless in its possibility.

While the influence can be highly variable, I propose that the constant of

this movement may be in the process. The root of this belief begins with a

foundational understanding of duality, which I define not as good and evil, but

rather binary and chaotic. I see the balance of this relationship expressed in the

human body in the connection between the brain and the digestive system.

Doctors are discovering that our guts and brains have a deep connection and

some even call the guts the body’s “second brain”. These two systems are in a

relationship linked to the foundations of duality. The brain being the binary

element, pursuing truth through math, logic, memory and experience. The

digestive system being the chaotic element, pursuing truth through instinct,

emotion, spirituality, and art.

Maximalism is about developing the ability to channel chaos. Right now

we are very reliant on the binary side of composing thought. In order shift the

consciousness towards the chaotic, one must learn to deactivate the binary to

some extent. Essentially, learn how to turn down the brain and think more with

the gut.


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