Erik Burke's 'Building on Building' opens at XYandZ Gallery

Artist Erik Burke, also known as Over Under, is motivated by something many Minnesotans can get behind: avoiding mosquitoes. He's pushing his luck visiting Minnesota right now, at the last possible moment before the skeeter-hawk population explodes.

Burke, who is originally from Nevada, went to school in New York City, and currently lives in Brooklyn. He actively makes decisions to live "wherever there are no mosquitoes," according to his website. But this weekend he's braving the possible onslaught of blood suckers in favor of his solo exhibition at Minneapolis's XYandZ Gallery, titled "Building on Building."

[jump] It's an apt title for a graffiti-based show in where, according to the gallery's website, "Burke creates mash-ups of the NYC everyday with glowing detail. He samples pieces of architecture, actual graffiti, and ornamentation."

His tools are spray paint and paper. And, like most graffiti artists, he gets excited at the site of giant, blank walls. Burke usually modifies exteriors of buildings by spray-painting thin paper and applying it in interesting ways -- such as making it look like giant limbs are reaching out of windows, or painting an entire floor of a building to look as though it is entirely filled with a giant face. "Building on Building" involves bringing his outdoor art indoors, creating an other-worldly environment in which graffiti-filled totem poles simulate a city.

Also be sure to check out a collaborative piece that Burke worked on with local artists Mike and John, who call themselves Broken Crow. Together they created a giant mural (using some "holy fuck-sized stencils") on a building located between the Modern Cafe and the 331 Club.

"Building on Building" begins this Saturday, May 28 with an opening reception from 6 to 10 p.m. at the XYandZ Gallery, located in the same building as the Trylon Microcinema at 3258 Minnehaha Avenue South in Minneapolis.

Check out this cool time-lapsed video capturing a Minneapolis collaboration between Over Under and Broke Crow below:

Broken Crow / Over Under. from Broken Crow on Vimeo.