Established Gallery Presents
By Sean Qualls
April 2nd thru May 1st, 2021
Established Gallery is proud to present Magic Doesn't Sleep, a solo exhibition by Sean Qualls. This is the artist’s first solo show with Established Gallery. This exhibition will be on view April 2nd thru May 1st with an opening reception on April 2nd from 6pm – 9pm. Established gallery is open by appointment Sunday thru Friday with public hours from 12pm – 6pm on Saturdays.
While all but one of the paintings in Magic Doesn't Sleep were created in the last six months, they all build on themes and concepts that Sean has been constructing and evolving over the past fourteen years with a growing emphasis on graphic and abstract designs. Several years after he began working as a full-time illustrator, primarily illustrating children's books, Sean felt compelled to develop a body of fine art. An objective of this work was to speak to a larger audience and thereby contribute to changing the landscape of words and images that dominate our world. This work would also give him the opportunity to delve deeper into the psychology of his subjects and how they related to the world.
The subjects of these works are mostly people from history but unique to his Sean's work, as they are often obscure and sometimes amalgamations. Characters from literature like Little Black Sambo and Uncle Tom have also become recurring figures in the work. In all cases, Sean's intention is to reveal a greater truth about his subjects re-imagining and reframing their stories in order to free them from the constraints of past narratives. Alongside these figurative pieces, the most recent works of graphic patterns examine our relationship to perfectionism. By creating these imperfect geographic paintings, Sean hopes to reveal how idiosyncrasies and imperfections make people and things more attractive, not less.
All of the works in this exhibition share a common seed of looking at things from our past while examining diversified elements of African and Oceanic art, vintage advertising, folk art, American and European painting, mythology, and our collective history and literature in order to imagine a greater future.
And then there is Magic... Magic may mean many things to many people, but it usually refers to the ability to produce an effect by the use of unseen/unknown forces. In his work, Sean is mostly referring to the unseen and all too often hidden parts of ourselves, our inner magic.
About the artist
Sean Qualls was born in Cocoa Beach Florida and raised in Bordentown, NJ. Some of his earliest creative memories include crayon drawings on bedroom walls and copying superheroes from comic books.
Sean studied fine art and illustration at Pratt Institute. While working at the Brooklyn Museum, he made use of their extensive collection of American, European, African, Oceanic and Asian art to further his education. He is also a highly sought-after illustrator and has created art for books by Spike Lee, Toni Morrison and Zindzi Mandela to name a few. His work is held in numerous private collections and has been exhibited nationally. Sean lives and works in Brooklyn where, on occasion, you can also find him DJ'ing or sharing his art with the community.