Impact on Individuals
Daniel Burnett, Visual Artist
21 March, 2016
Daniel Burnett uses a variety of materials to create his art, from traditional paint and canvas to graffiti and abandoned buildings. He often incorporates what is considered “blue-collar” or “low-brow” art forms into his pieces, using graffiti and sign painting techniques.
“I use a mix of things but the majority is just brush and paint,” comments Burnett. “I kind of hop around from thing to thing,” he explains. “Sometimes I’ll just use straight acrylic; sometimes I’ll utilize spray paint; and sometimes I use some printmaking techniques. It can really be across the board, but at the end of the day my ideal things are just a brush and paint and that’s it.”
Burnett has worked with many local organizations including the Regional Arts Commission, Center of Creative Arts (COCA) and the World Chess Hall of Fame. He was featured in the Arts and Education Council’s campaign video, “The Makers” which celebrates each person who participates in and patronizes the arts.
“I love it,” he says about the St. Louis arts community. “I think it has all the same trappings as everywhere else. I like the fact that you can get away with a lot here and you can make your dreams manifest without having a bunch of money. One of the art scenes that has really developed is
Cherokee Street and I think the basis of that was on people outside of the traditional art scene, outside of that academic bubble, coming together and making things happen. I think it’s evidence of how cool St. Louis can be.”
A Chicago native, Burnett was drawn to art at a young age. “When I was a freshman in high school, I started hanging out with a bunch of graffiti writers and it introduced me to concepts of individual style and development and the rigorous ethic that you have to adopt to be good at something,” says Burnett.
That rigorous ethic is one that contributes to Burnett's success today. “It comes down to the very simple matter of putting in the hours of work and ignoring the other trappings that can catch you up—essentially, it comes down to the idea that if you love your life and really have a passion for a craft, you lose your life to it. It’s a great thing but it’s also difficult because it will compromise so many other areas of your life that people take as normal and essential,” says Burnett.'
In 2010, Burnett joined with ten other local artists to create the Screwed Arts Collective, which works with media ranging from painting, drawing and illustration to music and video. Burnett describes how the Collective was formed: “At its base, it is a group of mutual friends that just
hung out and a situation presented itself with the Regional Arts Commission to do a large collaborative show. It went so well that there started to be ideas and talks to form something that would be more official. After the first exhibition, the Screwed Arts Collective was formed. We have a space down on Cherokee Street that we share. It’s a very interesting mix between the personal and the professional.”
The environment of the Screwed Arts Collective has been a positive influence on Burnett’s work, leading to collaborations and a sense of community. The artists of the Collective paint next to each and have created an organic and open environment where the public is welcome to watch as the art is being created. “Having a studio where you are around people constantly making things naturally affects and motivates you a lot. It’s inbetween competition and comradery.”
To learn more about Daniel Burnett and the Screwed Arts Collective, visit screwedarts.com.