Sean Mahan Solo: Soft

November 4 - 26, 2023 

Opening Reception: November 4 / 4pm - 6pm 

Sean Mahan (Florida) 

Sean Mahan is a social realist figurative painter who works with graphite and acrylic washes on wood to depict a sense of wonder about the innate warmth of the human character and its conflict with structures of power and control.

Title: Soft

As we look backwards, the dense atmosphere of time softens our view. Our memories crystalize and hide in the objects from our past. We find sweet yet impossible dreams hidden there. Sometimes things become more beautiful the more useless they become. Maybe its precisely in uselessness where we can most readily find beauty.

For example, I borrowed a reel to reel four-track recorder to study closely for the painting "Sugar Splice". Tape has become an obsolete way to record, yet interacting with it in a tangible way was delightful. Not only did it remind me of recording in my childhood; its design and feel captured something else. It captured something slower, something more direct, something soft. Somewhere within the process of reel to reel tape recording was a space to experience beauty.

This series of paintings are an attempt to cultivate a space for softness. The softer and sweeter aspects are often crowded out by the loud, the coarse, and the commercial. Each painting quietly aspires toward a pause - to reflect something soft.

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