Berliner Zeitung - #153 July 3,1991 ("Ich bin ein wirklich stabiles Genie")
- - - - VIVID COLORS FOR A SMALLER WORLD - AMERICAN ARTIST EXHIBITS IN TREPTOW - - - - "The world has become smaller, and the distance betweeen things shorter." The American artist Patrick Burke, who since yesterday has been showing his exhibition "On the Surface of Our Moon" at Kulturehaus Treptow, is a widely traveled man and knows whereof he speaks. "Man has conquered the distance to the moon, and has left behind his traces there. You here in Germany have bridged the gap between East and West, and are again one people." As the son of a U.S. soldier, Burke grew up in Germany. Later he settled on the American West Coast, then spent many years on board a fishing fleet in the Alaskan waters, and worked as a cowboy and a poultry farmer in the Vermont woods*. The experience of a life filled with variety are mirrored in Burke's paintings, which come alive with a charming alternation between abstraction and reality. Burke also finds themes in the political issues of the day, as in his painting depicting the misery of the Kurdish refugees and the opening of the Brandenburg Gate. His interesting work style, pressing acrylic paint or pastel ink onto colorful backgrounds using a cold-needle technique, produces an extraordinary line and special expression. "I've always been a little skeptical of the art scene," says the self taught Burke, who has never studied painting. "Furthermore, I distrust galleries; it's better to take your own opportunities in hand as much as possible." Burke, who has had some success in America and is showing in Europe for the first time, has held himself to this conviction. His friend, Rob Schrama, a Dutch performance artist, has helped with the organization of Burke's trip to Europe, which will go on to Amsterdam after the show in Berlin. Burke's work is on display until August 23 in the gallery at 5 Puschkinallee. This is the gallery's premier showing of the work of an American artist. Those interested in purchasing pictures should expect prices in the range of 380 to 2,700 German Marks. Jakob Augstein - - - - * CORRECTION * Herdsman on a dairy farm in Vermont, not "cowboy and poultry farmer etc." Organic Jersey cows, cedar sawdust on the barn floor, a big stained glass window...not a chicken in sight. (lost in translation but the thought of life on a poultry farm is not apealling at all, even in Vermont.) PB. (The mayor of East Berlin bought a work, the Brandenburg Gate inspired work titled "Just A Road, Just A Road.").
* I post this "personal history" to refute the abstoßend ignorance of the current president of the USA.
Schändlich, der Tiefpunkt des Experiments!