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Gavin's Underground

November Gallery Stroll: Shadow

by Gavin Sheehan
- Posted // 2008-11-24 -

Back to Gallery Stroll this month for a showing at one of SLC's most popular coffee shops.

Beans & Brews played host to a showing of works from local artist Shadow. Displaying his skills to be both abstract and well defined, Shadow blends the two together to create geometrical art that captures experimentation and balance. I stepped in on Friday night to take some pictures and got a chance to chat with Shadow about his career, his artwork, thoughts on the scene and a few other topics.

Shadow

http://www.myspace.com/shadow_o0

Gavin: Hey Shadow. First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Shadow: I was born and raised in Utah, and have been painting for about 15 years, and painting professionally for about 8 years.  I currently live in Sugar House with my girlfriend Mary, and my dog Kain (named after the "Legacy of Kain" video game series).  I create a lot of different art (paintings, illustrations, music, and writing), and am currently showing my paintings at Beans & Brews in downtown SLC.

Gavin: What first got you interested in doing art for a living, and what were some of your inspirations?

Shadow: I have been creative and artistic for as long as I can remember.  I began drawing at an early age, and began painting as a teen.  As far as well known artists, I enjoy the works of Mondrion, and Jackson Pollock.  I was inspired a lot by my grandmother, Kay Van Stone, when I was younger. She is a classically trained artist and paints landscapes in oils. I have also been greatly inspired and encouraged by the art of a good friend of 25 years, Joel Cable. Joel was until recently a local artist. He paints impressionistic landscapes, and his work is very good.

Gavin: For those unfamiliar with your work, what are you most known for in the local art community?

Shadow: I would say that I am probably most well known for my paintings with squares. They are a reoccurring element in a lot of my pieces, and something I feel makes my work recognizable at a glance.

Gavin: I know you've taken some college, did you seek out any education in art?

Shadow: I took as much formal art training as possible. I attended the Salt Lake Community College briefly to pursue a degree in graphic design, but found that I enjoy painting a little more than design.

Gavin: What were some of your first works when you started painting professionally?

Shadow: My first works were very dark and abstract.  I have still kept an element of abstraction to my work, but have started to incorporate more shapes and organization to my pieces.  The colors I use now are much brighter and vivid also.

Gavin: A lot of your work focuses on shapes. What inspired you to paint like that?

Shadow: I am very interested in geometry and some design elements.  I enjoy the aesthetic and esoteric qualities of shapes, and I am also very inspired by the concept of order vs. chaos.  A lot of my work tries to represent these two opposing elements together.  Order and organization are represented by the shapes, while the abstract strokes and splatter represent the chaos and disorder.

Gavin: I understand you also do commissioned work. What kind of requests do you get?

Shadow: In recent years, most requests have been for my abstracts involving shapes, mostly squares.  Most of my commissioned pieces were for local collectors for their private collections.

Gavin: Tell us about the showing you're doing for Gallery Stroll.

Shadow: The showing I am currently doing for the Gallery Stroll is a collection of some of my best pieces up to date, most of which represent the order vs. chaos concept.

Gavin: Why did you choose to go with Beans & Brews for the display place?

Shadow: I chose Beans & Brews as the location to display my art because not only do I know some of the management staff, who are awesome, but that particular location has a very modern decor which I thought would compliment my art.

Gavin: A little state-wide, what’s your take on the local art scene, both good and bad?

Shadow: I think we have a great local art scene here in SLC.  We are fortunate to have a lot of talented local artists with many diverse styles.

Gavin: Is there anything you think could be done to make it bigger or better?

Shadow: I think we could use more people trying to spread the word about local arts, music, etc.  There's a lot of cool stuff going on in the scene here, we just need more people interested in promoting it.

Gavin: What are your thoughts on Gallery Stroll and how it’s evolved over the years?

Shadow: I think the Gallery Stroll has come a long way.  It's great to see our local businesses taking an interest in supporting our local art scene.  There seems to be many more places taking part in the Gallery Stroll, and I think that is very encouraging for local artist.

Gavin: What can we expect from you the rest of the year and going into next?

Shadow: The rest of this year going into next will be a time for me to create new pieces. I don't care much for the cold weather, so I'll probably be locking myself in a room with lots of coffee and just painting for hours on end. I have a lot of ideas for pieces based on symbolism, and I hope to have enough finished to have a show of all new art by sometime next spring. I would also like to create an animated web series and given enough time and resources that might not be too far off in the future.

Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to plug or promote?

Shadow: I would like to give props to my brother Joel. His art is awesome, and you can check his stuff out at JoelCable.com. I would also like to mention a friend, Dominic Raimondo, a Sudanese refugee currently living in SLC, who has an organization that sells traditional African ceramics to raise money for the children of Sudan. You can get more info by emailing him at raimondodominic@yahoo.com. Thanks, and keep supporting your local arts.

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