Shawn Powell

Region: Midwest


City / State: Kent, OH

 Utilizing the motif of a top-down, cinematic viewpoint, my work looks at scenes of leisure from a hovering perspective. Sometimes the paintings act as large-scale, rectangular still lifes of enigmatic items—such as a rollerblade or a spork—carefully positioned on a field of grass. Witty, wry narratives are suggested through playful yet calculated arrangements; at other times, the paintings are shaped works in the form of a parasol, adopting the size and shape of their referent. These circular paintings embrace the strictures of reductive abstraction, while simultaneously poking fun at representational trompe l’oeil images.

A mix between Jacques Tati and Fernand Léger, the whimsiness of my work overall is contrasted with palpable stillness and an eerie absence of characters populating the scenes. This sets up a proposition that offers participation rather than dictation. Maybe the figures are simply out of frame; or is there something more sinister at play? Perhaps everyone was suddenly called into work? This is America, after all, where we love our commodified objects but have no time to spend with them.