‘Disrupting Threads’ by Sean Mahan
Artist: Sean Mahan
Title: ‘Disrupting Threads’
Medium: Acrylic on Wood
Dimensions: 10″ x 10″
Year of Creation: 2019
About the Artwork:
“I am endlessly interested in the strange distinctions we make between subjects and objects. We objectify others and view others instrumentally, while imagining objects as having a kind of personality and magical promise beyond their utility. We identify with the objects around us, with this brand, not that brand, hoping to embody some of those object’s imagined personalities. There is a kind of subject/object reversal that I think we live out and I like to try to reflect that in paintings. We are also constantly encouraged to desire something new and the new object is fetishised. In response, I am trying to fetishise the obsolete. In a sense, I’m illustrating my own advertising campaign to encourage desire in using and repurposing something old rather than something new.
There is a concept in ecology called ‘environmental generational amnesia’ – the idea that each new generation has a degraded conception of what the ‘normal’ health of the environment is, because the base line for their definition of ‘normal’ is becoming worse as time moves forward. I think you could conceive of something similar happening with product design. There is a kind of degradation of aesthetic as the market selects against subtle variation in colour and design in favour of what sells most and what is least expensive to make. For example, I have a special appreciation for the beauty of sewing machine design. If you try to buy a sewing machine today, most likely, you can buy a white one with more emphasis on function than style. When 50 years or more ago there was much more creativity and variety in design. It’s visible in some areas more than others of course, but I think it’s not hard to see what I mean.” – Sean Mahan
About the Artist:
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.
Sean has enjoyed creating cover artwork for the bands: Twelve Hour Turn, Floor, Daitro, Dauntless Elite, Jets vs. Sharks, Planes Mistaken For Stars, Beat Buttons, North Lincoln, Fires, Del Cielo, The Gifthorse, Mouthbreather, Senders, Little League, Back Pocket, Small Talk, Solid Pony, La Peche, Low Pines, Between Two Waves, Verde, Kids on Bikes, and more.