"My paintings have moved from being portraits of flowers, to being portraits of time - past, present and future play out for me simultaneously"
“Maximalist Minimalist came to mind as a way to label the two distinct emotional values I found arising in this series. The combined efforts of washes and thin veils of paint that hint at stains left by the energy of my subject, or ghosts of past beings, layer with strong energetic focused brushwork to create a push and pull and allow the viewer to fall in and out of focus.
I enjoy the unexpected collision that is occurring in my work at this stage. There is a cultural composite of Asian theories on brushwork, where each movement holds a particular value and meaning in calligraphy, working with elements that I have drawn from European and American Expressionist painting. I want the paint at times to guide itself, moving and drying with its own intentions, finding areas to pool and drip and having its natural interaction with pigment to pigment. At other times, I like to control its destiny, show my own humanness, the movement of my arms and hands, the strong combined with the delicate. With these two approaches I find that the paintings can be at once simple and clear, minimal in areas, and at the same time, thick dense and maximal, over the top in their brushwork with paint piling, to a point of exhaustion.
There is a second meaning to Maximalist Minimalist that has lingered in my work the entirety of my career, that of macro versus micro. At times I view my subject as a landscape seen from a far, where natural elements, time and movement move across the canvas in a flurry of activity, a myriad of small elements to make the bigger picture. In other works, I find I am taking the micro viewpoint, where I fly so far into one miniscule detail, say the center of a rose, and I become lost in the unexpected, the subject matter blurs out and it too becomes abstracted to a point of instinct, I can’t see the bigger picture but I can swim in the vastness of details.
Over the past 3 or 4 years, I have spent a large portion of my time drawing and collaging, then collaging those drawings, which led to collaging on paintings, then into sculptural collages. The road has been fascinating as each medium feeds the next. In this series, although the paintings include no actual collaging, there is the butting up of mediums and textures, unexpected contrasts that have been pulled from my work with drawing and collaging. There are small areas of pastel that sit on vast areas of white, just like paper. In other sections, spray paint jolts the viewer out of traditional painting, taking away some the saccharine sweetness of floral. I have included brushwork that has no coherent relation to the brushwork that surrounds it, like it has been transposed. These non-traditional and repurposing of techniques is a new direction in floral painting for myself. I am attempting to force the viewer to see the traditional subject for what it can be. Flowers are strong and resilient. Nature is to be watched closely for the small changes that should instruct our lives. The humanity of the act of painting can be a mirror not only for the painter, but for what and how the viewer sees.”
- Bobbie Burgers, 2019
Burgers lives and works in her hometown of Vancouver, where she received the Vancouver FANS award in 2013 and teaches at the Gordon Smith Foundation. She has exhibited her work at galleries, museums, and art fairs internationally.