Born in 1947 in Nassau, Stanley Burnside has established himself not only as a masterful painter but as the premiere Bahamian cartoonist. He sketches out his social commentary in Sideburns, an editorial cartoon that runs daily in The Nassau Guardian and has for decades, except for a brief period when it ran in The Tribune. Having created over 10,000 cartoon panels since 1979, Mr. Burnside has displayed both his intelligence and wit while keeping Bahamian politicians on their toes and memorializing our pop culture and society in general.
As an avid Sideburns reader I have always admired how he can express so much with just a few strokes of his pen, getting to the heart of the issues facing Bahamian society.
Mr. Burnside attended the University of Pennsylvania where he received his BGA and MFA. During the 70s, while living in the United States, he supported himself by designing album covers for noteworthy R&B artists. Following his return to Nassau, Mr. Burnside educated art students at The College of The Bahamas while debuting his editorial cartoon that would make him a household name.
After a decade of teaching, Mr. Burnside reevaluated his role as an artist and in 1991, organized prominent Bahamian artists to establish B-C.A.U.S.E. (Bahamian Creative Artists United for Serious Expression). The group helped garner attention for local artists and define a new direction of artistic expression. Mr. Burnside is also recognized for forming the collaborative trio Burnside-Beadle-Burnside, alongside his brother, Jackson, and longtime friend and artist, John Beadle.
According to the D’Aguilar Foundation, Mr. Burnside’s artwork is “distinguishable… from others by his use of elemental and mystical symbolism rooted in his African heritage. His paintings often deal with culturally related subjects; more specifically, the role of the matriarch in the Bahamas.”
Stan Burnside is well respected for his paintings, which have been exhibited and are in collections all over the world – but he is beloved, and will always be cherished, for his daily slices of Bahamian life portrayed in Sideburns.
Caption: Stan Burnside getting a look at the photos taken during his portrait session for The Bahamian Project.