Kenny Burton describes himself as “methodical in nature”, which is very evident once you see his artwork. The Denver based artist has a background in Engineering; which, if you watch any of his Instagram reels, clearly lends itself to his creative process. With careful attention to detail, precise measurements, and vibrant color selection, Kenny’s work explores spacial relationships with meticulous geometric patterns and an overall vibe of abstract surrealism, all (as Kenny puts it) wrapped in a cosmic cloak.

Hometown/Currently residing? 

I was born and raised in Oklahoma City and currently reside in Denver, where I’ve lived for the  last 8 years. 


Name three things you can’t work without: 

Adobe Illustrator. 

Super bright lighting. 

Tape measure. 


What songs are putting on to get in your creative flow? 

Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Vaporwave. It allows just enough of my conscious brain to get completely lost within the reverberated ambiance while the rest of my brain goes into autopilot. There is a liminal atmosphere to the music that feels both nostalgic and exploratory, a potent recipe for creativity and flow. 

Can you recall your earliest exposure to art and when did you decide that was the path  for you professionally? 

I think my earliest exposure would have to be elementary school art class. The room itself was  unlike any other in the school, its walls joining at odd and interesting angles. It was always so  bright and sunny. I have fond memories of sitting on carpet squares and crafting gifts for my  parents during the holidays. I remember leaving things on the drying rack, anxiously awaiting  our class’s next trip to art class to retrieve them. 

If you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have told you a professional  baseball player or a visual artist. I chased the baseball dream into college before that door eventually closed. I no longer had any obligations to sports, and suddenly had a lot more free  time to spend on creative hobbies. I designed roadways to pay the bills, until an unexpected  layoff severed me from my 9 to 5 during the pandemic. It felt like the universe presented the opportunity to shift gears completely over to art, and I went full steam ahead. 

How does your background in engineering play a role in your art today? 

Given I’m pretty methodical in nature, my engineering disposition is almost inseparable from my artistry. It permeates into every phase of a painting, from conceptual development to construction to documentation. It influences my style, subject matter, process and tools I use to create. 

An idea starts in Illustrator and is developed digitally until the concept is about 90% realized.  When I’m ready to paint it on canvas, I follow the digital blueprint and essentially ‘build’ the painting like a carpenter builds a cabinet. I measure incessantly to get my proportions correct, and will mix any given color two dozen times if need be. I use small brushes and choke up almost to the bristles to maximize control. But although I’m quite meticulous, I still allow myself room for deviation if my artistic intuition suggests it.

How would you describe your style/genre of art in your own words? 

I’d say my current style drifts between geometric abstraction and abstract surrealism. It explores spatial relationships and induces a perception of depth. It’s colorful. It’s optimistic. It’s retro and futuristic. There is an element of adventure and whimsy. All wrapped in a cosmic cloak. 


Do you have any unusual painting rituals or habits that you believe enhance your  creative process? 

I’ve developed a philosophy in regard to the clothes I wear to paint. In the past I chose to paint  in old, junky pants and free promotional tees I excavated from the depths of my closet. I didn’t  care if they existed, much less got paint on them. But as I spent more and more time painting, I realized I was spending most of my time dressed like a schmuck. One day I thrifted a really cool  pair of pants and decided to dedicate them to painting. Game changer. Now I was excited to get dressed for the day. I felt like a professional putting on a snazzy uniform instead of a rag. I felt more aligned to the vision I have of myself as an artist. 


How long does the entire process usually take to complete a painting? (From conception  to completion.) 

Anywhere from 2 weeks to 4 months. I’d like to improve my speed and efficiency a bit, but  sometimes a painting just requires time and patience. 

If you could create a mural on the surface of the moon for all of humanity to see, what  would it depict, and why? 

Using environmentally-friendly moon paint, I would paint a QR code leading to the most dastardly Rickroll. “That’s lunacy!!” they’d say. 


What do you believe your purpose as an artist is? 

I haven’t ever felt an outward purpose as an artist necessarily, but more so an internal feeling of creative potential I need to explore. I’m not sure where I’ll end up, but I’m positive I won’t be entirely fulfilled in life until I get all of that potential into motion. 


Is there anything coming up for you that we can look forward to? 

I’ve got dozens of ideas in the works that will be coming down the pipeline soon. If you’ve liked  anything I’ve done in the past, you’ll love what I’ve got coming in the future. And keep your eyes  peeled for my sophomore roller skating video part – I’ve got some new moves.