In "Goodbye Cool World" Burt Payne juxtaposes layers of meaning and materials to derive humor from the detritus of a harsh, often unforgiving world. As in his earlier works (his first show at the gallery featured a diving board in a black pit dug into the concrete floor), humor dominates the outward appearance of things, while a macabre quirkiness is evident at the level of unconscious apprehension. The meaning of life is often called into question in the most saccharine way, as in "Letterpiece" (1995) which spells out in school varsity letters the phrase "I didn't do much in school - hope this makes up for it."

Sunflowers, 1996
Edition of 29
Flower and Band Hat

Danger lurks in many of Payne's pieces. In one powerful installation, the weighty hardness of pool balls are flung full force by a pitching machine against the wall, playing an intricate game of re-cycled aggression and energy. "Ladders" marries the artist's benign memories of his idyllic childhood on an apple farm to a precarious roundelay of ladders that invite the climber up,only to drop back where they began. The artist's identity masquerades as dessert in "Bloodsicle," and takes the shape of four young artists in the elaborate charade "TheWorld is Getting to be a Funner Place."

In 1995, Payne was selected as an artist-in-residence at the Villa Saint Clair in Sete, France where he created a number of new works including "Three Musketeers," a set of three swords fashioned from wax that resonate with cultural as well as sexual meaning.

to full exhibition

Burt Payne 3 biography

Burt Payne 3, Access
One of Burt's earlier show at Track 16 Gallery