The Olympic Agora 2021: Synthesizing Sport and Art
“For half my life, I trained my body and competed in sports. The other half, I traveled and created paintings. Through sports, I stay strong. Through art, I unearth beauty. Sports and art help me to swim upstream. For the Tokyo 2020 Games, I am super pleased that 6 of my artworks found their place on the starting blocks in the center of Tokyo for all to share.”
Gregory Burns’ passion for art began as a boy in Paris where he painted bottles of Beaujolais and slices of French bread. During a freshman figure drawing class Gregory discovered a passion for painting the nude. He slipped into Asia in 1984, where he studied Chinese brush painting and calligraphy with local masters in Taiwan and China. With broken Mandarin and paintbrushes he embarked on a 16-month backpacking trip overland through China, Tibet, Nepal, India and Pakistan focusing on the ancient sacred sites of the region. Since completing his Master of Fine Art in Painting in 1999, the intrepid traveler continues to cast a wide net and pull in a diverse collection of colors and imagery from which he tries to inspire himself and others to live a big life with purpose.
Since 1980, Gregory has embarked on painting expeditions across 30 diverse and distant nations. He has held 80 solo and group painting exhibitions in 15 countries and has been the celebrated Artist-in-Residence at 40 venues globally. In 2016 he was honored with the Sports Artist of the Year Award from the United States Sports Academy. In 2021 he was selected as one of the six Olympians/Paralympians to create huge site-specific artwork for the ‘Olympic Agora’ which was exhibited during the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Exhibitions: J.F. Kennedy Center, USA, Today Art Museum, China, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taiwan, Euphrat Museum of Art, USA.
Collections: Japan Olympic Museum, Tokyo, Mingei International Museum, USA, Deutsche Bank, Hong Kong, BHP Billiton, Australia, Rias Museum of Art, Japan, Bill Clinton, USA.
Many of the original paintings in the Painting Gallery below are available for purchase while all paintings are available as fine art Giclee prints, lovingly hand embellished by the artist. All of this and Digital Portraits are available on request. Please get in touch.
“Gregory Burns splashes his paintings with magic-so generously- it doesn’t seem to cross his mind he might ever run out. No need to save the fairy dust for a rainy day.”
-Olga Ferreras-Anderson LC, MTCP
Always reinventing himself, Gregory felt that experimenting with digital media would offer him a more contemporary approach to painting. Embracing a stylus and an IPad, he embarked on a new journey of discovery. Combining his old and current sketches, paintings, photos, fodder and prose he began collaging together imagery and messages with pixels instead of paint. Like the excitement that comes with discovering a new muse, he found a fresh dynamic energy flowing though his art. This new media seamlessly combines the past and present into imagery that excites and pleases him. Welcome to Gregory’s digital paintings.
Commission Gregory to create a meaningful and memorable artwork of your special people and life events. Combining his sketches and paintings with your photos and prose, Gregory collages together imagery and messages into a unique portrait.
Numerous companies, hotels, institutions and individuals around the world have commissioned Gregory to create unique, site-specific mixed media paintings for offices, resorts and homes.
For centuries, Artist-in-residence programs have existed to invite artists, writers and other creative people for a time and space away from their usual environment and obligations. Residencies provide an environment of reflection, research, production and immersion into a new culture. Since 1999, Gregory has been the celebrated Artist-in-Residence at over 40 venues globally during which he has honed his art in exotic locations and connected with hundreds of people in local communities. Share in his journey.