Aspen Art Gallery hosts solo show by rising painter Tyler Sean
The young pop artist Tyler Sean is taking over the Aspen Art Gallery this weekend with 25 new pieces.
Sean, 24, won the Art Basel Miami 2017 Best Rising Artist prize and had his debut solo exhibition at the Aspen Art Gallery in June. He is donating 10 percent of proceeds from the new show to Ascendigo Blue, coinciding with the locally based autism assistance nonprofit’s annual gala fundraiser.
Titled “Palatable Conscience,” the exhibition showcases paintings filled with photo-realistic images — heavy on celebrities, luxury goods and cash — that Sean has created through a painstaking spraypaint and stencil process, many of them adorned with graffiti.
“People think it’s computer-generated, but I’m laying it down layer by layer and stencil by stencil, spraying it,” Sean explained last summer. “It allows me to achieve an extremely detailed aesthetic in a medium that you don’t think of as detail-oriented.”
Sean considered drawing and painting hobbies until just a few years ago, when he said using art as therapy saved his life.
Since high school, he said, he’d enjoyed drawing portraits for fun. But as he went through a deep struggle to manage his obsessive-compulsive disorder, he found making art — throwing himself into his intricate spray-painting and layering process — offered him rare relief.
“Art was one of the only things I could do that was a positive,” he said. “It was the only time I could breathe. And it wasn’t so much about what I was expressing through my art. It’s just the act of creating that was therapeutic. That’s how it started.”
His creative breakthrough was perfecting that process, with which he began making pieces on canvas and wood panels that riffed on celebrities and pop culture figures.
Little more than a year after Sean committed himself to this work, and began calling himself an artist, he found himself with a booth at the Spectrum Miami art fair where he won the breakthrough award.
The show opened Thursday and runs through Sunday.
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Ballots will be counted Tuesday evening for the city of Aspen municipal election.