Abstract painting

Westport Museum tries to set world record with largest abstract painting

WESTPORT — Local artist Trace Burroughs is no stranger to world records, having officially held one.

In 1975 he was listed in the “Guinness Book of World Records” for the longest marathon solo drum fight, having maintained a stint of 105 hours. He also reestablished this record in 1978 for a time.

That’s partly why Burroughs thought it would be fun to invite people to try and set the record for the largest abstract painting – a nine-by-20-foot canvas slightly larger than the largest painting in Jackson Pollock – “Mural”, which was recently exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

MoCA Westport hosted the event on Saturday afternoon, which included an opportunity for visitors to help work on the painting, as well as food and an appearance by Hopalong Andrew, the urban singing cowboy and his country band .

“It’s a family day,” said Burroughs, who has helped dozens of children and families with a splatter technique that has spread about a million dots, smudges and splatters all over the huge canvas from the rear parking lot of the museum.

“My theory behind all of this is that you don’t have to have any training to be an abstract painter like Jackson Pollock,” Burroughs said. The splatter technique was performed with sticks and about ten different colors.


Once completed, the work required an initial judgment by two witnesses, including an architect who would verify the measurement of the canvas itself in order to submit the project to Guinness.

It remains to be seen whether the folks at Guinness will accept the record or not, but Burroughs seemed to agree either way.

Having apparently set other world records that failed to gain Guinness recognition, he remains dedicated to the artistic process for the process.

His past efforts include creating the largest t-shirt, which he made in New York, measuring 50 feet by 35 feet, and submitted to Guinness.

“They said they didn’t have a category for clothing,” he said.