The Paradise Circus is coming to town

Steeple Front LoRes

I have the immense pleasure of following J.T. Burke on the organization, construction and installation of his newest project, “The Paradise Circus, Los Angeles 2015.” This ambitious, large-scale installation – his first serious effort at a three-dimensional artwork – will be the center of attention at the upcoming LA Art Show January 14-18, 2015 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Paradise Circus was conceived more than 2 years ago and had its first appearance as a solo show in 2013 at the LA Art Association‘s Gallery 825 in West Hollywood, California.  J.T. talked about the project last year:

The series playfully rejects canonical notions of heaven and hell, meaning that perhaps Sister Mary Joseph, my first grade teacher, might not have had any better insight about the hereafter than I did when she warned of the dangers of eternal damnation and hellfire.

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When I first met with J.T. Burke and his wife, artist Lorraine Triolo, in their studio last month I was  blown away by the sumptuous and impassioned work. I can’t reveal too much about the project just yet, but I will say that you’ll be mesmerized by the spectacle involving the sacred and the silly, and by the mashed-up notions of carnival and cathedral. You may want to confess your sins to the art world, and do it with cotton candy in your hand.

JT explained that Peter Mays, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Art Association, was the catalyst for this project. “Peter has been a friend and supporter of my work for some time, and he motivated me to move from comfortable 2D wall art to 3D installation. I had hung a large mural in an office lobby earlier this year, but it was his suggestion to ‘just go crazy’, as he likes to say, that gave me the confidence to propose this project.”

And then there’s the soundtrack. Composed by J.T.’s friend and fellow South Pasadena resident Mocean Worker, the Soundtrack to Paradise currently has the working title “Angus Dei Tuvan Bali Calliope.” It sounds just like that. More about the music and J.T.’s collaboration with Mocean Worker to come.

Follow J.T.’s blog for more on The Paradise Circus, Los Angeles 2015 and information on the LA Art Show. You can also find us on Facebook where we will post regular updates of the construction process.

-Kristine Schomaker

(copied from JT Burke Studio blog, as guest blogger)

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