Justin grew up in Farmers Branch, Texas and studied close to home at the University of North Texas. He earned his BFA focusing primarily on Studio Drawing and Painting in 2013. Before achieving a BFA, Justin and his twin brother were traveling playing music and signed a record contract to Island/Def-Jam Records in 2009. During his travels playing music, Justin experimented in painting and photography and began to gather photographs of a small community were the Burns family has a one-hundred-year old farm in Kopperl, Texas. Justin took interested in stories of the farm, community and what is physically left behind. After experiencing an apartment fire where he and his family lost everything in 2014, Justin’s work began to take a new role and meaning. His work focuses on spaces that are left as they are, weathered and abandoned fragments of a time once lived. His paintings have been exhibited in Dallas/Fort Worth and have been featured in publications such as Studio Visit Magazine and Friend of the Artist.
ABOUT THE ART
My work focuses on the decaying era of a small Texas town where all that is left is the memory of a how things use to be. I begin photographing interior and exterior weathered relic structures that once were an icon, are now headstones. Eventually these spaces will disappear and will become a distant memory of a time of how things used to be as well as the people who hold special memories to them. These structures were designed for purpose and a force of permanence. The ruins linger as reminder when the train used to stop in Kopperl, TX. I gather stories and songs from relatives and people of the community and try to incorporate what Kopperl was like at its peak. As I paint, I airbrush and brush onto multiple or single transparent layers of duralar (acetate) to emphasize the depth and detail of the space while blending my own romanticized perception and abstraction from memories.