GLB: Please tell us about your work!
Sean: My current body of work is inspired by the mysterious energies that exist in nature and how they influence people’s behavior. It's well-known that the moon affects rising tides, reproductive cycles, and plant growth, yet we don't usually give pause to the effects of cosmic energy on our bodies. This is some of the rich territory my work explores, expressed through painting, sculpture and new media.
My work references astronomical tools of antiquity, like the astrolabe, dioptra, sundial, and the Nebra sky disk, while sharing similarities with the transcendentalist movement, medieval science illustration, and 21st century generative art.
I'm also intrigued by the historical archetype of a village shaman, alchemist, or healer who was the go-to for matters outside our realm of knowledge. My great grandmother was one such person who practiced folk magic. Their role was equal parts mysticism and science, collecting data that was interpreted intuitively. My work is an extension of this narrative, straddling the two fields of knowledge, while remaining rooted in ancient and modern sensibilities.
GLB: Where do you find inspiration?
Sean: The landscape of the American West is the muse for my current body of work. Growing up in Utah, I found easy access to the most stunning landscape in the world. It's only after I moved to New York that I truly appreciated what I had left behind. We're so blessed in California because we get to have easy access to the culture of New York with the beauty of the West.
On my daily hikes in the hills above Los Angeles, I spend a lot of time making note of the locations that have strong energy, soaking in the textures of the earth, the smell of the plants, and warmth of the sun. I think it's important to savor those moments that make life meaningful.
GLB: How would you describe your work in 3 words?
GLB: What is your favorite piece?
Sean: During the pandemic, I did a lot of soul-searching that involved exploring my ancestral lineage in Utah. I learned a lot about the men in my family who were imperfect at best and repugnant at worst. Portal (2) was a piece that I created as an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of my ancestors while building on their core strengths (Photo 8).
The piece was a hybrid of video, sculpture, and installation, using photographs of men in my family from the 1860s through today. The haunting audio was sourced from the lyrics of "Echo Canyon", an American Civil War-era song that romanticized the back-breaking work that many young Mormon boys endured while building the transcontinental railroad. The ritualistic pyramid harnessed both masculine and feminine power, concentrating their energy at the zenith where the four corners meet.
GLB: Anything new you are working on that you’d like to talk about?
Sean: I'm currently working toward a fellowship at the Franconia Sculpture Park just outside of St. Paul, MN. The piece I’m creating is a star chart that consists of a large scale copper disk in the center that spins on a central axis, surrounded by a gravel path and a C-shaped earth berm (Photo 7). The sculpture is inspired by any number of ancient earth works around the world, using local materials, geography, topography, and seasonal light to help make sense of our place on earth.
GLB: Where can we see your work?
Sean: I have four shows coming up in the next few months in locations all over the US and Sweden:
If you're in Southern California: I'll be participating in a show at SCRANCH in the Wonder Valley/Joshua Tree area. That show will be up for just one day, on Saturday, April 1, 2023. No joke.
If you're in Stockholm: I'll have work up at a project space called DetroitStockholm, May 7-14, 2023. I'm co-curating that show with Katya Usvitsky, Megan Mueller, and Sam Scharf.
If you're in the Midwest: I'll be unveiling my earthwork sculpture at Franconia Sculpture Park in Schafer, Minnesota on Saturday, June 17 for the summer solstice. That piece will be on view for 3 years.
If you're in Los Angeles: I'll also have some work in an upcoming High Beams show. That one will be up for one night only, Saturday, September 16, 2023 in West Hollywood's Plummer Park.
Additionally, you can check out my website or Instagram for up-to-date information.