Wednesday, 31 August 2011

London In Los Angeles

On September 2nd a brand new alternative art event will be opening in LA. FLAG STOP!

Many high profile LA based curators and art industry types are taking part in the event including Lily Siegel who is a Curatorial Assistant at 'The Museum of Contemporary Art', Los Angeles and Howard Fox who is Emeritus Curator of Contemporary Art, 'Los Angeles County Museum of Art' amongst others.

Also participating in this event is London Art Box (LAB), a London ‘micro-gallery’ in which UK artists have been invited to prepare a special exhibition for this landmark LA art event, FLAG STOP. Showcasing  artists from London’s Debut Contemporary. 

As part of the Debut Contemporary collective I was selected with 11 other artists to represent the UK at this exhibition. The exhibition is being held on the grounds of a Lexus showroom. On the choice of this setting for the exhibition Flag Stop says:

"FLAG STOP’s mission is to present new and emerging contemporary art to a larger audience outside the mainstream art venues. FLAG STOP is searching for alternative venues in which to present the best curated examples of what, why, and how art is becoming relevant today. Each “STOP” will feature art which has been curated with some of the best examples of contemporary art, brought to you by some of the top professional, emerging curators and artists from Southern California."

My work will be there as well as a few artists from Debut heading across the pond to make the presence of the art work and our gallery space known to everyone as ambassadors during the three days it is on.

This will be my US debut, so I'm very excited. I'll be showing three pieces, 'For What It's Worth', and two of my peep hole boxes 'Ugly' and 'Loss'.

For What It's Worth (2011)

Friday, 26 August 2011

A Peaceful Game Of Chess

Thanks to all those that participated on Saturday 20th August at the 'World Within Worlds' event, where people got all artistic and helped create a work of art live in the gallery window at Debut Contemporary based on my design.

Each were given a section to draw and this was then pieced together to form a bigger picture. The result?
A riot policeman and a hoodie having a nice game of chess, in response to the recent London riots. Created by the people, for the people...

Here are the individual sections lovingly made by those that participated. In the space of a few minutes they became artists, were discovered and then had their work displayed in a posh gallery in Notting Hill!

Paul. B

Raquel. B


C. M. B
Claudia. P

Duncan. C

C. M. B

C. M. B
Rob. M

Stephanie. O

C. M. B

Kevin. N

C. M. B

Gabriela. P

Johanna. S

Sandra. O


Sylvia. M
Tiffani. A

Robert. V


Sandra. O

A Meeting of Worlds Part III

These are the five pieces of art Carlos M Burgos and Jonathan Ramirez created. Combining the traditional hand drawn with the digital. Created via long distance in London and Dallas. Combining two artistic visions. Art has no boundaries.

These pieces were shown for the first time on Saturday 20th August at the debut Contemporary Gallery in London, England. Together with three new pieces by Carlos M Burgos and three pieces by Jonathan Ramirez, showing their work as individuals alongside their collaboration pieces. The exhibition was called 'World Within Worlds'. 

A total of five pieces of work were created, each of which are available as a limited edition Giclee print of five. Printed on high quality 100% cotton museum grade Canson Aquarelle paper.

November Rain - 2011 - 71x51cm
One - 2011- 71x55cm
For What It's Worth - 2011- 71x54cm
Bullet With Butterfly Wings - 2011- 71x54cm
Boot Camp - 2011 - 51x75cm

Thursday, 25 August 2011

A Meeting of Worlds Part II

Detail from 'For What It's Worth' by C M Burgos & J Ramirez

Let's continue with the story behind the recent collaboration between myself and digital artist Jonathan Ramirez. Having approached Jonathan with the idea of him adding colour and continuing to develop my ink drawings, he said yes and our work began.

We communicated mainly by Facebook and email. He was in Dallas and I was in London, so time differences were a big factor, getting to know when we were free to discuss things etc.

I scanned the drawings and sent him the files by email. I had decided I was going to trust his artistic vision and as a first time experiment was not going to say much about what to do, I wanted the piece to develop naturally. I would just tell him what I had in mind when making the drawing. I left my art work in his hands as to what he was going to do with them, the only thing I mentioned was the importance of the lyrics remaining visible. I was excited and nervous at the same time as this was my first collaboration with another artist.

Jonathan worked very hard on the drawings I sent him. It was now his turn to use his digital brushes and palette.  

J Ramirez and his artistic tools
"What i did on the drawings was use textures, also I'm into using colors but in a dark way, lots of vintage effects, make them creepy.  I used Photoshop CS5 and Adobe Illustrator CS5  plus an Adesso CTZ12A Cybertablet 10x6" Widescreen Ultra Slim Graphics Tablet".

"I painted some by hand others by using tools like brushes and effects. Im a big fan of the 'Image Vibrance' tool, it brings life to my art, I use a high saturation on most of my artwork".

When collaborating with another artist it's strange seeing the results as you know and recognize your own art work but it's somewhat different now. It's interesting seeing how both styles fit and can complement each other creating a completely different image. Jonathan would send me each piece as soon as he finished it, I would take a couple of days looking at it, taking it in and getting used to this new style. We were both very pleased with our work and the results.

This was really my first collaboration, but i believe you have to respect each others work, methods and where its coming from. We had very different methods of working, Jonathan works digitally and I take a traditional approach, our styles differ. But I felt there were things we connected on. I think you have to have a plan of action, how will the work take shape, in what order etc. In our case I had created hand drawn art work and I decided I trusted in his artistic vision and gave him the freedom to then re-interpret the drawing his own way. Our common ground was our love for the same kind of music, so we were drawing inspiration from the same sources.

Jonathan: "Trust in the art of the artist you are collaborating with, Just think you are doing a collaboration where both artists enjoy each others art work. Never think of selling  for a client or making it big into mainstream".

I had been a bit worried about the distance thing, but Jonathan is a great guy, sincere in everything he does. I trust his abilities and that to me is rare. Where you can trust and share your own artistic visions with another artist. We didnt talk much about what we were going to do, over thinking things, we just poured ourselves into our art.

Jonathan: "This is my first collaboration with an artist, and I'm glad it was Carlos, you have to believe in someone or something to be part of it, and Carlos believed in my talent and art, I think I enjoyed the fact that we are both far away. I mean collaborations don't have to be in the same room at the same time, in the same city under the same sky. We try to bring art together no matter what part of the world you are in, it all becomes one".

We created five pieces of work, each of which are available as a limited edition Giclee print of five. Printed on high quality 100% cotton museum grade Canson Aquarelle paper.
Approx print size: 710 x 550mm

Next I'll be showing you the full set of work. You can also see it here: Full Set


Read Part I of this post here

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

A Meeting Of Worlds Part I

J Ramirez injects his style to my art work, 'Boot Camp'.

Saturday 20th August saw the results of a collaboration by myself and Jonathan Ramirez displayed at Debut Contemporary Gallery, London. Jonathan Ramirez (interviewed here previously) is a digital artist based in Dallas, Texas, and together we have produced five exciting new pieces of art.

In the next few posts I will be telling the story of this special long distance collaboration.

But let's start from the beginning. As some of you may already know, I've been working on a series of drawings inspired by some of my favourite songs or bands and incorporating their lyrics directly in to the art work. Songs by Metallica, Smashing Pumpkins, Guns N' Roses, Buffalo Springfield and Soundgarden. Making the lyrics form shapes and objects creating a narrative amplified by both the pictoral and written elements. These are images that can carry powerful meanings, messages and emotion.

These are drawn entirely by hand, taking up to a week minimum to design, develop and execute. Using technical drawing pens to be able to incorporate very fine details and text. Not much room for any mistakes and these drawings continue to develop as I progress.

I had always planned on adding colour at a later date to my drawings. As I wanted to keep these black and white versions as they were, I had thought about colouring them digitally as I had done with other pieces in the past.

However, time did not allow me to as I was also creating a series of paintings at the same time.

Busy Painting

Previously i had come across the amazing work of a digital artist called Jonathan Ramirez. He had posted a link to his work on a Facebook page at Juxtapose Magazine. The link was to a piece he called 'Tales of a Scorched Earth'. This got my attention as it reminded me of a song by The Smashing Pumpkins, I looked at more of his work and noticed that most of it was inspired by songs and lyrics, by bands that I also liked or knew. We turned out to both be Smashing Pumpkins fans and so I contacted him to make friends.

(His website:

Some time passed and I still really wanted to add colour to these drawings. Then a thought occurred to me, it may be interesting to see what would happen if I asked Jonathan to add colour to these pieces. Although his style was different to mine, he understood where this work was coming from as he too was influenced by the same music. I really admired his work and style so I thought that it would be even more interesting if I let him continue to interpret the lyrics and my drawings in his own way, adding his unique style and vision. Fusing our styles and talents. I also thought our collaboration would be interesting from a cultural point of view too, he was from Mexico and I had roots from El Salvador, both from Central America.

I contacted him and asked him if he would be interested in collaborating with me, he said yes and our work together began!


Stay tuned for part II...

Read Part II here

Friday, 5 August 2011


I introduce to you all the second in my World Within Worlds series, 'Yesteryears'.

A moment of fluttering thoughts in a field of memories blowing in the winds of time. A key locks away treasured moments but also opens the box we call our hearts.

'YESTERYEARS' oil on canvas 76 x 100cm

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Boot Camp by Soundgarden

Boot Camp by Soundgarden
boot camp
1. US slang a basic training camp for new recruits to the US Navy or Marine Corps
2. (Sociology) a centre for juvenile offenders, with a strict disciplinary regime, hard physical exercise, and community labour programmes
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

Soundgarden gets the lyrical art treatment this time with their song 'Boot Camp'.

Soundgarden is an American rock band formed in SeattleWashington in 1984 by lead singer Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil, and bassist Hiro Yamamoto.

This is my interpretation of an underrated song I feel is about conformity, longing for change. A society full of rules or social protocol. We long for something else but are still caught in the confines of the system. 

Infant clones/drones stand in line, all with their heads down but one. Head raised and eyes wide open looking upwards towards the sky. A sky it has been told not to look upon. They must all follow the rules, but one dares to dream and question...

Boot Camp detail

The Y label on their foreheads is to show they belong to generation Y also known as 'iGen'. Born after 1981.
Characteristics of the generation vary by region, depending on social and economic conditions. However, it is generally marked by an increased use and familiarity with communications, media, and digital technologies.

I must obey the rules
I must be tame and cool
No staring at the clouds
I must stay on the ground
In clusters of the mice
The smoke is in our eyes
Like babies on display
Like angels in a cage
I must be pure and true
I must contain my views
There must be something else
There must be something good
Far away from here 

And I'll be here for good

Soundgarden was one of the seminal bands in the creation of grunge, a style of alternative rock that developed in Seattle, and was one of a number of grunge bands signed to the record label Sub Pop. Soundgarden was the first grunge band to sign to a major label (A&M Records, in 1988), though the band did not achieve commercial success until they popularized "grunge" in the early 1990s with Seattle contemporaries NirvanaAlice in Chains andPearl Jam.

Listen to the song: