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Jeff Burton: Untitled #14 (Reclining Nude Man) 2000

Guggenheim Museum, New York

Fueled by his own participation in Hollywood's sex/film industry, Jeff Burton makes work that champions desire and pleasure through a visual language of glamour, excess and beauty.

From "Eyeing up Los Angeles: Jeff Burton" Steve Slocombe: "In a sense, you could say that Jeff Burton leads something of a double life. The first—which would be enough for many peop—is earning his daily crust as a stills photographer for the porn industry in LA. The second-and the reason why he is being featured here (honest)—is the 'alternative' images he has managed to extract from his working environment. Ambiguously subversive images that are, quite rightly, garnering more than a healthy reputation in the equally idiosyncratic world of art.

Pictorially, what makes Burton's images really work is essentially the quality that set them apart from your standard stock-in-trade documentary photograph. In paying extreme attention to detail whilst retaining a highly aestheticised, almost traditional sense of beauty, they manage to match the haunting aura of the romantic tradition with the knowing savvy of the late nineties.

'Even though I've always been interested in fashion and magazines that pay attention to detail, as you put it, partly it comes from the experience I gained shooting slick airbrushy-type commercial stuff. Doing that really honed my eye to become aware of not only the surface but also what is going on within my entire frame of vision-especially around the edges.'"

Excerpt © 2000


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