"art is meant to wake people up, sit inside their head and spin the imagination like an old soul record. I guess that makes me a 'DJ' of a different sort."
Sean G. Phillips (seangarrison) is a native Detroiter currently residing in Minneapolis, MN. He is a writer and Abstract painter in which both disciplines cross-influence the other. The influences range from the words of Nikki Giovanni, Amiri Baraka, Pablo Neruda and Yusef Komuyakaa to Frank Bowling, Jackson Pollack, Willem de kooning and Ed Clark. A self-taught artist he feels that all artists should have a foundational understanding of art but art is conceived in the soul of the artist which precludes an academic knowledge.
He enjoys visual art in its entirety; but, abstract art's ability to elicit different responses to “what it is” intrigues him as no answer, in his opinion, is essentially wrong. Wassily Kandinsky once stated, “The artist must train not only his eye, but his soul.” This statement is the foundation of the following seangarrison quote; “…the experiences that each human meets, trains their soul to view and weigh the world, and art, differently on the scale of their being. No matter how joyous or painful that accounting is, it is always beautiful because it is natural. As an artist I feel it is my responsibility to reveal that beauty by allowing others to see my work; thus, allowing them to see themselves. There is also an obligation that I, as well as artists of all mediums and genres, assume when we step upon the “artist” dais. That duty is to “say something valuable”, add to the public discourse of what needs to be corrected within our society and/or worldwide community. To “paint a pretty picture” is not enough for the artist. Surely one can do so, but, it must be balanced with an edification of humanity through this talent gifted to us.”
He is a 2021-22 Artist-in-Residence at the Minnesota African-American Heritage Museum and Gallery and has shown his work at multitude of venues throughout the Twin Cities area. To name a few; the Minnesota African-American Heritage Museum and Gallery, Basilica of St, Mary’s (Minneapolis), Hennepin Gallery (Minneapolis), Gamut Gallery (Minneapolis), Homewood Studios and seangarrison studios. In 2012 he planned and curated the art show “Fade 2 Blaq” which featured 16 local artists of color and was attended by over 1000 art enthusiasts and patrons on its opening. On April 20, 2021 as a response to the Chauvin trial verdict for the murder of George Floyd he painted “Walking On Air”, an abstract painting created in real time on location. It received national attention on MSNBC as well as multiple local news outlets. In addition to his studio work he performs what he calls “live painting experiences”. In 2021 he did three of these interpretative works. One in particular, held in August, was "Heaven or Hell". Centering on the murder of George Floyd, was attended by over 350 people at The Cowles Center for Dance & Performing Arts. In 2022 he performed "The Darkness In My Skin" at the Historic Mounds Theater and "Northside Love: A Poetic, Paint and Peace Experience." He is also planning the solo exhibit "She 24/7" for fall 2023 and three live performances, "Memphis Mud" (centering on The Tyre Nichols murder), "Blood Seed" (centering on the gun culture in america) and "Kaleidoscope's Envy" a 72' abstract masterpiece (Summer/Fall) .