tom burr

Dream The End’s collaboration with artist Tom Burr and Nicole Will of Bortolami Gallery in New York features our first Live Online Exhibition Edition. Works featured in this edition are an extension of the real-world gallery exhibit on show at Bortolami Gallery for the month of October. The exhibition is an exploration on the connections one makes in life and how they result in the formation of one’s personality. Works will continuously be added to our Edition throughout the month of October.


Now I am quietly waiting for the catastrophe of my personality to seem beautiful again, and interesting, and modern.

O’Hara writes Mayakovsky. He writes it densely, and deeply, though the poem’s frame is slight and lean and filled with open spaces. He writes along the edges of the other poet’s words and phrases, nudging towards Mayakovsky’s subjects and his symbols, slipping in and out of his ground, mixing their soils around. O’Hara imagines, I like to think, not only what Mayakovsky wrote, but how he wrote it, in which position and with which hand. And how he may have spoken, what the timbre of his voice may have sounded like. I imagine O’Hara thought about what Mayakovsky’s lips may have looked like when speaking. There are photographs of Mayakovsky to inspire this thought.

My heart’s aflutter!

Artists look at other artists. We hear ourselves across time and on the other sides of walls, working, not working, listening, painting, speaking, not speaking. We watch what we make and how we make it. We search for clues, for substance, for stimulation and connection. When we work out and through each other we tangle our language together and produce new sentences, distinct syntax. Our tendencies and our preferences, our ideas and various ways of placing those ideas, our styles even, seem to need the company of each other. There is a politics to placement, and alignment, and company. And there is a genealogy created out of manifestos, practices and love poems, out of close encounters in our immediate surroundings, and out of a trans-historical crush.

and I’ll stare down
at my wounded beauty
which at best is only a talent
for poetry

What I mean by that is only partially clear to myself. I’m concerned less with the structure of generational groups -of gangs, schools, cults and families- and much more by the conscious and specific connections made across decades, and by the drive to construct ourselves and our working methods through proximities, (both physical and intellectual), and through associations. In this sense I remain steadfastly loyal to the notion that artworks complete other artworks, that artworks extend and expand other

artworks, and that singular gestures, individual artworks, are fictions at best.
what does he think of
that? I mean, what do I?

Artists are constituted through other artists. We define ourselves in relation to one another in some way. We savagely pick at the bits we crave and ingest them, making them our own matter, or spit them out in revolt. We protect ourselves fiercely, and offer ourselves up freely. We project images of ourselves and then reside within them. We create our own genealogies, I like to think, which, like photographs, can be sorted, shuffled and pinned in place, only to be reshuffled again when needed.

I embrace a cloud,
but when I soared
it rained.

Vladimir Mayakovsky was a photogenic man. He was majestic. Does this matter? Not necessarily, but at the same time, yes. I’m guessing Frank O’Hara noticed. Maybe all artists are photogenic in the eyes of other artists.

And if I do,
perhaps I am myself again.

Tom Burr / Frank O’Hara

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