Burton Machen was born in 1970 in Ashville, Alabama. Burton has lived in
Washington DC, New Orleans, Atlanta, Rio de Janeiro and now splits his
time between Los Angeles and New York.
Burton has been photographing street art and urban decay for more than a
decade. He believes that street art is a powerful form of expression that has the
ability to influence our thoughts and attitudes, often without our knowledge.
‘Urban Evolution’ is the first series of photography focusing on street art that
reflects this philosophy. Burton is drawn in by the collage-like effect that
occurs when artists and elements work together in urban settings. Most of the
‘Urban Evolution’ series originated in New York, which remains Burton’s
sentimental first love.
From this series Burton developed ‘Portraits Project’. With the ‘Portraits
Project’ Burton invites the world in by posting portraits in cities like New York,
Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Orleans, London, etc., and observes the
reactions that they incite. He documents the evolution, which includes other
street artists, taggers, time, weather, passersby, etc., until he has a FINAL
image. Burton observes that it is a reflection on the passage of time and speaks
to “…the effect we have on the world.”
Burton was recently included in ‘The Whitney Art Party’ and ‘The Warholian’.
Whitney board members, Beth Rudin De-Woody and Jack Cohen commissioned
their own portraits. Eric Shiner, Milton Fine curator at The Andy Warhol
Museum, included Burton’s ‘Andy Warhol’ in ‘The Warholian’, at the Royal/T
in Los Angeles, amongst other artists such as Damien Hirst, Richard Prince,
Jeff Koons, Shepard Fairey, Kenny Scharf, and of course Mr. Warhol himself.
Burton Machen has been commissioned by various private collectors to do
portraits as part of his series ‘Portraits Project.’