Riis Burwell is one of the country’s foremost sculptors, though he sees himself less as a sculptor and more as an “explorer” who enjoys discovering the “the permanence and inherent beauty, as well as their duality of character” of the various metals with which he works. Like him, his steel, stainless steel, and bronze sculptures are both utilitarian and strong, yet yielding and sensitive. “Creating sculpture provides me with a deeper connection to the grace and beauty inherent in nature,” he says.
Drawing from his reverence for nature and his fascination with what he calls “the opposing forces of geometry and entropy that underlie the structure of the physical world,” he is continually inspired by order and chaos, growth and decay of all matter. “My work is an exploration – emotional, spiritual and physical – of what is unseen in nature. I seek to create tangible expressions of the intangible," he says. And Riis’s collectors and clients are drawn to this very expression he so accurately captures. His mesmerizing sculptures have been installed in private collections, museums, and corporate offices and celebrated all over the world, and just recently a client of his discovered him through the Blink Art Resource.
“Thanks to Blink Art, I am working on a 12-foot bronze sculpture for a client in West Palm Beach,” Riis says.
This is Riis' page from our print catalog Blink Art Resource
Blink Art Has Staying Power
The clients actually saw an earlier piece—from a Blink Art Resource that was published three years ago. (Riis has been a Blink Artist from the beginning.) “That’s the beauty of Blink Art. It has staying power. People look through the older versions and the newer ones. As an artist, I understand you have to be involved in an endeavor for the long term. You don’t know when a client will be ready to work with you.” Like many Blink Artists, Riis likes knowing photos of his work are out there being looked at by potential clients all the time. “I’m here when they are ready for me, and with Blink Art Resource they know how to reach me.”
Right now, Riis is happy to be working on a project with our very own, Litsa Spanos, president of Art Design Consultants, the parent company of Blink Art. “I would have never known about Riis without Blink Art. My client came to me and described what they were looking for, and I went to the Blink Art Resource to see if we had an artist that would fit the project. I showed them Riis’s work, and they fell in love,” Lista says.
Though the clients saw an earlier piece, Riis loves exploring a variation on the original. “I worked with Litsa and the client to create a specific design, and I am more than happy to accommodate the client. Honestly, it’s been a fun part of the project—changing the proportions and refining the design. As an artist, you always step back from a project and think about things you would change. This project gave me the opportunity to do just that.”
We wish Riis the best of luck working on this commission. We are thrilled he’s part of the Blink Art family, and we can’t wait to see the finished product.
Join the Blink Art Artist Family
If you are interested in being a Blink Artist contact our artist relationship director Chelsea Tucker-Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss details and review your portfolio.
And right now, we’re offering a discount for a limited time. Sign up and save 20% off on a full page in the 2018 Blink Art Resource catalog.
(UPDATE: Since this interview, Riis Burwell suffered the tragic loss of his studio to the fires in Northern California. He lost everything. He is currently working hard to rebuild and continue working on his commissions. Please keep Riis and his family your thoughts.)