Oak Park’s Taurus Burns Gives “Creation of Adam” a Modern Day Sidewalk Art Twist
(Crystal A. Proxmire, April 9, 2020)
Oak Park, MI – Decorating yards and sidewalks is an increasingly popular way to cure the restlessness of those who are following the “stay home, stay safe” order, and to share joy with neighbors who are out for walks. Artist Taurus Burns is among those who brought their chalk out this week to be creative, making art for those walking in Oak Park to enjoy.
His three-slab masterpiece is a modern-day homage to Italian artist Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam,” which features the Biblical first human being touching fingertips with God. But in Burns’ chalk art there is a twist – as the subjects are wearing face masks and medical gloves.
“This morning when I was thinking about what to paint, I remembered all the memes that were floating around social media a couple weeks ago where all the figures had left all these famous, classic paintings. I knew I wanted to do something like that, but highlighting where things are right now with the shortage of proper PPE,” Burns said earlier this week.
Sadly the rain has already begun to wash the powdery colors away, but the pictures are a hit on social media.
“I didn’t check to see the weather the rest of the week before I started. It was such a beautiful day today, and I wanted to spend it outside,” he said. The experience of being outside and creating was great, no matter how long the results lasted. Just like the nature of these socially-restricted times, sidewalk art is only temporary.
“My wife put a bug in my ear about doing some sidewalk art because we’ve seen it here and there when we’ve gone walking. Inspirational uplifting stuff. I’ve done a lot of street painting in the past so was kicking the idea around for a few days. Today I decided to go for it!”
Burns is an adjunct professor at College for Creative Studies, where he also got his BFA in Fine Arts. He is best known for his paintings, including a series of landscapes of Detroit. Most recently his work has focused on his identity as an interracial person, and the histories of both black and white cultures that he is connected to.
He has created a “Zebra” panther theme – a mix of black and white skin and a nod to the Panther organizations that moved forward civil rights.
“In these paintings he combines two things that he loves: a dissection of racial identity from a mixed-race perspective, and figures sourced from the many figure drawing sessions he attends,” according to his website.
Burns hopes to have an exhibition of his 30 works when the virus danger is passed. He has had several shows in the Detroit area, as well as having his work included in shows in Chicago and Berlin. See more of Taurus Burns’ work at www.TaurusBurns.com.