Burton’s work often deals with ideas of solitude, uncertainty and freedom. He is notable for his thoughtful melancholy and his careful attention to the craft of painting. He makes figurative painting that treads a line between classical, abstraction and magic realism; being on a ‘threshold’ is a preoccupation.
His images wallow in the threshold between surface and picture and the viewer is often held in this unreliable place. This is at the core of his approach and the material embodiment of the painting is central to any attempt to ‘read’ the painting. While employing traditional painting methods, he is also experimental and intuitive. His use of color, light, texture and composition are all used to explore painting as a medium and to link this to the conceptual content within each work.
Burton’s paintings have a tendency to disorientate us even when he depicts recognizable imagery. His narratives tend to be ambiguous and certainly with no specific conclusion; figures are often on the brink of discovery or revelation. They inhabit liminal spaces and find themselves held between past and present. There is a sense of pause in each work, which heightens the feeling of the impending chance for change. Each of his characters is seeking, they search for meaning through history, habit, or adventure. There maybe no answers but they will endeavor in the absurd or the useless, in a hope to make something known.