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7 Heron St, SF CA

Currently closed due to COVID-19. We encourage everyone to take all available measures to self-quarantine and reduce the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus during this critical period.

Exhibition Series

Play

Robert Xavier Burden

Saturday February 29th, 7-10pm
Artist Talk postponed due to COVID-19
We encourage self-quarantine to limit the spread of the virus during this critical period

Heron Arts is pleased to announce the two-month solo exhibition Play by Robert Xavier Burden. The exhibition will be on view at Heron Arts until April 26th, 2020. Known for his giant paintings of Star Wars and Batman figures, this is the first series of wildlife paintings Burden has yet to show. The opening reception for Play is Saturday, February 29th, 2019 at 7pm and is free and open to the public.

At the heart of this exhibition lies a tension between past and present. Burden’s work indulges a childhood fixation on animals with super-human characteristics found in films and TV, and serves as a reflection on the plastic culture that is killing them, taking into question our toxic relationship with nature. At its core, it is the artist’s chance to idolize these figures once again, as they inch ever closer to extinction in the wild. With a closer look at the work, one absorbs the adoration and glorification of the animals portrayed, while simultaneously feeling the shame and sadness they are surrounded by in the form of cheap mass produced figurines. Figurines which are created for children in the hopes that they will identify with the creatures and create humanized relationships. The innocent love Burden retains for the animals he has always admired is as apparent as his disdain for a culture that kills them.

Burden’s captivation with animals began young. His aunt was a zookeeper at the Toronto Zoo, which fed this fascination. As an adult, Burden began creating paintings based on his childhood obsessions, such as the Star Wars and superhero figurines he is known for. It wasn’t until 2016 that he created his first wildlife painting of Charles the Lowland Gorilla, a gorilla from the Toronto Zoo who is the centerpiece for this show. Not only does Burden attend zoos around the country to photograph animals in captivity, but he also researches the stories of the animals he paints. The child-like fascination continues as he grapples with now global consequences.

Upon entering the gallery, the viewer will be immediately awestruck by the sheer size and drama of these paintings. The gallery will be covered completely, with just seven paintings ranging in size from 60x30 inches up to a staggering 7x14 feet. Each painting takes anywhere from thirteen hundred up to twenty-one hundred hours to paint.

Robert Burden's Website →
Robert Burden on Instagram →

Works

The Battle for the Arctic
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on canvas
84 x 168in
$140,000Inquire

The Battle for the Arctic (Detail)
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on canvas
84 x 168in
$140,000Inquire

The Battle for the Arctic (Detail)
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on canvas
84 x 168in
$140,000Inquire

The Battle for the Arctic (Detail)
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on canvas
84 x 168in
$140,000Inquire

Dinosaur Toys
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on canvas
144 x 96in
$130,000Inquire

Dinosaur Toys (Scale)
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on canvas
144 x 96in
$130,000Inquire

Dinosaur Toys (Detail)
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on canvas
144 x 96in
$130,000Inquire

Dinosaur Toys (Detail)
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on canvas
144 x 96in
$130,000Inquire

Elephantidae
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on canvas
144 x 84in
$95,000Inquire

Elephantidae (Scale)
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on canvas
144 x 84in
$95,000Inquire

Elephantidae (Detail)
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on canvas
144 x 84in
$95,000Inquire

Elephantidae (Detail)
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on canvas
144 x 84in
$95,000Inquire

Elephantidae (Detail)
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on canvas
144 x 84in
$95,000Inquire

Elephantidae (Detail)
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on canvas
144 x 84in
$95,000Inquire

Ape
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on panel
108 x 90in
$80,000Inquire

Ape (Scale)
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on panel
108 x 90in
$80,000Inquire

Ape (Detail)
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on panel
108 x 90in
$80,000Inquire

Ape (Detail)
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on panel
108 x 90in
$80,000Inquire

Ape (Detail)
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on panel
108 x 90in
$80,000Inquire

Fox
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on panel
60 x 60in
$40,000Inquire

Rita the Reaper Drone
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on panel with blinking LED lights
114 x 24in
$7,500Inquire

Animalism
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on canvas
60 x 56in
$7,000Inquire

Batman Reliquary
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on panel with built-in shadowbox containing taxidermy of the actual bat which inspired the young Bruce Wayne to become The Dark Knight
33 x 16in
$6,000Inquire

Spiderman Reliquary
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on panel with built-in shadowbox containing taxidermy of the actual Oscorp spider that bit Peter Parker, transforming him into The Amazing Spider-Man
33 x 16in
$6,000Inquire

Rudolph Reliquary
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on panel with built-in shadowbox containing the actual skull of Rudolph
33 x 16in
$6,000Inquire

Peter Pan Syndrome
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on panel with LED lights
25 x 24in
$2,800Inquire

Play (1)
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on canvas
24 x 58in
$4,000 / $6,000 pairInquire

Play (2)
Robert Xavier Burden
Oil on canvas
24 x 58in
$4,000 / $6,000 pairInquire