Jeffrey Thomas Burke was born in 1957. He received a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1981 and an (hon)MS from Brooks Institute of Photography in 1999. Burke worked for many years as a commercial photographer, cinematographer and graphic designer. He was an early adopter of digital photography and imaging as a part of his studio practice. In 2006 Jeffrey and his wife, artist Lorraine Triolo, retired from commercial practice and re-opened BurkeTriolo Studio for their personal art.
Jeff’s current body of work speaks to the concept of Paradise as a beautiful myth and Man’s need for purpose and a lasting place in the cosmos. His unique image style combines original photography with digital manipulation to create scenes of exuberant life and utopian bliss.
J.T. Burke lives and works in South Pasadena, California.
JT Burke CV
About My Work
My images reflect interests in unique items from the physical world and notions that are dear to Man’s soul. I use collected objects to create fantastic compositions that represent intangible human desires, myths and philosophies. Though I usually have a concept in mind when I begin a new piece I rarely work from a defined layout; I prefer to rely on intuition and serendipity.
My work contains color, light and figure that are all generated by the energy of thousands of small images. The result is ornate and exuberant, and tells tales of life forces unbounded by reality. My compositions are influenced by a variety of artists and mediums, contemporary life in a large metropolis, twelve years of Catholic schooling and by my advertising art background. And also Dr. Seuss.
I explore the human obsession with Paradise. In my own mind, my images speak to concepts of beauty, afterlife and man’s role in the universe. Costume jewelry and brass figurines are the building blocks of my works; they are a tangible representation of Man-made beauty, just as Paradise is its ultimate portrayal.
Paradise is a myth.
It’s a concoction of our own devices created to comfort us from the rigors of daily life and the sorrows of the human condition. Paradise gives us hope for something meaningful beyond this mortal life. It’s a beautiful myth, so beautiful that even knowing it’s a myth only slightly diminishes its value. I call attention to the myth with my art. Using vintage costume jewelry as building blocks, I create visions of a joyous utopia. I search swap meets and yard sales for discarded pins and broaches. I photograph them and use the images to create new compositions of life that dance and soar within the frame.