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Ainsley Burrows: Immigration Series

Ainsley Burrows (born 1974, Kingston, Jamaica; resides in Baltimore, MD) is a versatile artist delving into untold narratives and unspoken emotions. Beyond his visual art, he's a poet, musician, and performer, infusing his series-based paintings with the richness of his experiences. Grounded in his upbringing, Burrows weaves histories, migrations, and inherited wisdom, shaping a perspective uniquely his own

"Ainsley is an amazing human, the profundity of his expression of moments and characters in world history is breathtaking.  He captures a reckoning of sorts; giving face, texture, and honor to the returned gaze of the overlooked." — Lisane Basquiat

In the realm of acrylic on canvas, Ainsley Burrows explores the tactile essence of his chosen mediums. Employing expressive gestures, he orchestrates the paint, embracing its innate flow. Ainsley's artistic journey unfolds through diverse styles—expressionism, cubism, and folk art—each a canvas for scrutinizing and reimagining the colonial legacy left by European maestros such as Picasso and Modigliani. In this intricate dance of styles, he pays homage to Black visionaries like Basquiat and Lawrence, crafting a narrative that transcends artistic boundaries.


Throughout 2021 and 2022, Ainsley Burrows meticulously crafted the Immigration series—a collection of ten paintings that serve as profound reflections on the experiences and global impact of immigrants. Utilizing his brush as a storyteller, Burrows intricately weaves memories and interpretations into each multi-layered image. Noteworthy works such as Lazarus Factor (2021), The Long and Complicated History of America (2022), and Imprimatur (2022) emerge as canvases where he interprets the beauty, complexity, and at times illusory memories of a nation shaped by the ubiquitous contributions of immigrants. Positioned life-sized before oversized frames, Burrows intimately shares his emotional state, capturing these narratives through unceasing movements and emotive swaths of blues, blacks, and whites. Coined as Neo-Chaos, this technique serves as a conduit, imprinting the perceived turbulence of immigration onto the canvas, echoing the dance of his distinctive String Theory technique. In this artistic exploration, Burrows proposes a poetic parallel, suggesting that immigrants, akin to the unsung particles in String Theory, are the elemental threads binding humanity together.

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