Shawn Huckins

United States 1984


Shawn Huckins
Shawn Huckins
United States
March 25, 2016

Shawn Huckins past incarnation was probably somewhere in the 18th century and American revolution period. He grew up in New England, and since he was young he was surrounded by the architecture of that period. Nostalgically reminiscing the past and assuming that people were closer at that time, Huckins paints incredible acrylic paintings with scenery from American history. He combines old classics with contemporary internet slang, so he could unite old and present through language. Behind the language game, there is a satirical message he’s sending. With every revolution comes a collateral damage, but in the case of the internet revolution and modern technology, there are not only older generations that are not finding the transition easy, there are also our communication skills that have a hard time getting by.

Shawn Huckins - BFś Comment Laughing My Ass Off (detal) (left), 2012, Young Girl With Dog and Bird Sorry To Tell You, But Your Girlfriend Looks Like A Farm Animal (detail) (right) , 2013
Shawn Huckins – BFś Comment Laughing My Ass Off (detal), 2012 (Left) / Young Girl With Dog and Bird Sorry To Tell You, But Your Girlfriend Looks Like A Farm Animal (detail), 2013 (Right)

Laughing and LOLing

Shawn started drawing when he was a child and had a hard time with oil painting. He only returned to painting later in high school and at college. When Shawn discovered acrylics his talent finally got the opportunity to shine. It happens quite a lot that viewers think his paintings are photoshopped or digitally printed. Going into details with amazing dedication, Huckins protects the text area with tape, so the letters could shine, and gets the end product that’s both funny and thought-provoking. Are we really that lazy that we communicate using abbreviations? Are LOLs funnier than real laughter? Do we have time to sit and listen, to thoroughly go through the subject of interest or is everything tl;dr (too long, didn’t read).

Shawn discovered acrylics and his talent finally got the opportunity to shine

Shawn Huckins - Eleazer Tyng's Laugh Out Loud Laugh Out Loud Total Bust Squint (left), Close up detail (right), 2011
Shawn Huckins – Eleazer Tyng’s Laugh Out Loud Laugh Out Loud Total Bust Squint (Left) / Close up detail, 2011 (Right)

Lost in Communication

The American Revolution Revolution is a series of portraits with new revolutionary technology slang, with an underlining message of alienations and miscommunication that are taking their tool. The paintings are supposed to be funny, to be silly and to make the audience giggle. In his artist’s statement Huckins openly says that new technology revolution doesn’t scare him, but it’s not something he would let go out of control. Using smartphones, snapchats, Instagram and tweets, we are used to economizing, to pack our thoughts in short forms. There is no time, either free time or time to stop and smell the roses. When sending a text there is no need to correct grammar or typos, we all understand it perfectly well. So, he wonders what is the next step, how are we to change the fact that we don’t communicate well.

Huckins satirical art show how badly we fail in communication

Shawn Huckins - The Checker Players Hashtag Oh My Fucking God (detail) , 2014
Shawn Huckins – The Checker Players Hashtag Oh My Fucking God (detail), 2014

Revolution on top of the Revolution

Shawn Huckins has an answer to language mess we are in. We all need more humor and more fun. There is no need to incorporate dark and deep emotions into everything, and sometimes the best victories can be achieved while fighting on the sunnier side. In the second series of bold white text on top of the American 19th-century sights, called The American __tier the artist again uses irony and humor to mourn for better days. Even there is no certain guarantee that people were bonding easily, that relationships were tighter and more honest, we can assume that there were no silly distractions, there were longer attention spans, better sleep cycles and more honesty. It is very important for Huckins that he paints everything, in his hands lays the honesty, the true effort and identity. It is not copy/paste art.

The artist is respresented by Stephanie Chefas Projects in Portland, OR, Goodwin Fine Art, Denver, CO and Modernism Inc, San Francisco, CA.

Shawn Huckins lives and works Denver, Colorado.

Featured image: portrait of the artist
All images courtesy of Shawn Huckins

YearExhibition TitleGallerySolo/Group
2016Everything Is Hilarious And Nothing Is RealModernism, Inc, San Francisco, CASolo
2015The American __tierGoodwin Fine Art, Denver, COSolo
2014New PaintingsArt & Soul Gallery, Boulder, COSolo
2012Flayed Parables: Shawn Huckins and Billy ReynoldsL2Kontemporary, Los Angeles, CADuo
2012Introducing Shawn Huckins and Chelsey Tyler WoodFoster - White Gallery, Seattle, WADuo
2010Can’t Miss LimeReal Art Ways, Hartford, CTSolo
2016Open StacksGoodwin Fine Art, Denver, COGroup
2016Learning To See ColorVicki Myhren Gallery, University of Denver, COGroup
2015Art MiamiModernism Inc, Miami, FLGroup
2015Project P:earStephanie Chefas Projects, Portland, ORGroup
2015Fresh BrewStephanie Chefas Projects, Portland, ORGroup
2015Art Silicon ValleyModernism Inc., San Mateo, CAGroup
2015Summer Group ExhibitionHashimoto Contemporary, San Francisco, CAGroup
2015Platinum BlendModern Eden Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2014SCOPE MiamiHashimoto Contemporary, Miami, FLGroup
2014PLAYGalerie COA, Montr?al, CanadaGroup
2014New Visions Of The Old WestPatrajdas Contemporary, Ogden, UTGroup
2014Summer Group ExhibitionGoodwin Fine Art, Denver, COGroup
2014A Precious FewParlor Gallery, Asbury Park, NJGroup
2014PULSE New YorkKeeler & Co, New York City, NYGroup
2014ArtMRKT San FranciscoHashimoto Contemporary, San Francisco, CAGroup
2014LA ART ShowSpoke Art, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2013Texas Contemporary Art FairJenkins Johnson Gallery, Houston, TXGroup
2013Ten Years DrawnL2Kontemporary, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2013SummertimeJenkins Johnson Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2013Word PlayDesign Matters, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2013Eye On The StormThe Housatonic Museum, Bridgeport, CT and The Bob Rauschenberg Gallery, Fort Myers, FLGroup
2013Vol. 3 Group ExhibitionGildar Gallery, Denver, COGroup
2012ArtMRKT San FranciscoCain Schulte Contemporary Art, San Francisco, CAGroup
2012Art On The EdgeVered Contemporary, East Hampton, NYGroup
2012Inaugural Exhibition Vol. 2Gildar Gallery, Denver, CO Group
2011AQUA Art Miami, Cain Schulte Contemporary ArtAqua Hotel, Miami, FLGroup
2011FEED2011 Biennial: Five Artists1708 Gallery, Richmond, VAGroup
2011Summer PartyMuseum of Fine Arts, Boston, MAGroup
2011BeastBrooklyn Artists Gym, Brooklyn, NYGroup
200929th Faber Birren National Color ExhibitionStamford Art Association, Stamford, CTGroup
2009Slide Slam, Real Art WaysHartford, CTGroup
2008Out of the BlueAttleboro Arts Museum, Attleboro, MAGroup
200822nd International ShowVisual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit, NJGroup
2008Fast Food - A Fast Food Themed Art ShowFrankenart Mart, San Francisco, CAGroup
200819th International Juried ExhibitionViridian Artists Contemporary Art Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2008Emerging Artists 2008Limner Gallery, Hudson, NYGroup