calvin burton

Titles, 2016

"To us, a sun is not quite a sun unless it's radiant, and a spring not quite a spring unless it is limpid. Here to place adjectives would be so rude as leaving price tags on purchases… There is a way of saying boat, rock, mist, frog, crow, hail, heron, chrysanthemum, that includes them all." -from the film Sans Soleil (Chris Marker, 1983)

For titles, I usually prefer single words over phrases, and nouns over verbs or adjectives. The function and character of nouns comes closest to how I think about painting - as a body, sometimes subject, sometimes object.

I like how every word becomes an onomatopoeia, a cross wiring of visual, auditory, and mental perception. But if a word embodies its meaning, it also has a life outside that meaning, visually as a set of glyphs and sonically as a combination of tones and rhythm. This abstraction is explicit with a foreign language, but it sometimes happens with a native tongue, like those moments when you look at a common word and it seems alien, and you think it must be misspelled. Part of the pleasure of learning a new language is the regression to a childlike state of wonder where words - their sounds and meanings - have novelty. This is analogous to something I look for in painting: finding novelty in the physical senses of touch and sight.


Relief paintings

Presiding over accidents

Haptic viewing