The Light and Plight of the Graffiti Artist
From a young age, Shannon has been fascinated with Renaissance Art, in particular the techniques used to make it. As a teen, he was introduced to egg tempera and techniques such as scumbling, sfumato and sgraffito. It was the ability to capture and manipulate light when using these techniques that fascinated him. Chiaroscuro, another Renaissance term, meaning the use of strong contrast between light and dark, has become the focus of his works as a result of developing these techniques.
Equal to his fascination with Renaissance art is his fascination with street art and the plight of the graffiti artist. Shannon’s work in this series is an attempt to combine these interests and painting techniques from Renaissance art with the subject of the graffiti artist. For many artists their art making process takes place in the privacy of a studio. For the street artist it is different. They are almost bound by the street and to the walls found on the street. Shannon has emphasised this by using the street as a backdrop in much of his work.
Although the graffiti artist is his muse, Shannon’s obsession is light. His intention is to imply there is a direct light source illuminating the subject. This source is often a streetlamp. The light softly falls over the subject, enhancing the folds in cloth, in turn dramatically creating shadows that connect the subject to the space they have been captured in.
120cm x 120cm
Acrylic on Canvas
2013 Mortimore Winner