Richard Burnside, a man of visions of ancient times, creates primal, raw works of art that have always struck a chord in me. Born in Baltimore in 1944, Burnside spent a brief stint in the armed forces, then worked as a chef in Charlotte, North Carolina. “I was a world famous chef!” Plagued at night by visions of ancient times, he found he couldn’t rest until he let them out through his painting.
“Gotta obey God,” as he puts it. His paintings are rife with symbols, some carrying personal meanings for Burnside, and some unexplained products of his visions.
His standard images include Ancient Kings and Queens, Jungle Cats, and a White Wolf. Many of his paintings include what he calls “Roman writing”, letters in an ancient language Richard sees in his visions “Ancient King and his Knights.” He can provide a detailed analysis of the symbols found in a typical painting. Various meanings are assigned and descriptions of the symbols involved often describe the character of each King or Queen and his advisors. Halos represent that the royal one was a good ruler.
Dots around the outside of the work represent different tribes of man.