Fimi Artist in Residence, Sean Garrison (seangarrison) is revolutionary. As an abstract painter, he uses his art to make a social impact and to spur critical discussions on race. On the day of the verdict in the Derek Chauvin case for the murder of George Floyd, seangarrison set up his easel outside the Minneapolis courthouse and started painting. He was fully prepared for a ‘not guilty’ verdict and the riots and pandemonium that would surely follow.
seangarrison was so prepared for a riot, that he packed a gas mask and planned his escape route ahead of time. The crowds gathered and he felt the tension build in the air. He began painting with darker colors to capture the heavy pent-up energy in the air. When the ‘guilty’ verdict was announced, seangarrison felt and witnessed a release and jubilation. He latched on to that feeling and suddenly the painting’s hues changed to light and airy blues and pastels. This was the genesis of his “Walking on Air” piece that seangarrison says captures ‘love rising.’
This isn’t the first time seangarrison has carried an energetic weight for his art. For his upcoming “The Darkness in My Skin” exhibition, he learned to tie a noose. The historical concept of lynching Black bodies in America is a dark one. The ease of learning to tie a noose surprised the artist and he wondered if it were that easy to tie a noose, put it around a man’s neck and hang him from a tree. The exhibition features effigies that seangarrison paints and hangs by a noose. “The Darkness in My Skin” features a live painting experience where seangarrison will lead a hard discussion on racism in America.
seangarrison stipulates that America has been brushing these difficult conversations under the rug and the spates of killings and violence against Black people by a now younger generation is because the roots of racism have not been dealt with properly. seangarrison curates and performs these experiences with the hopeful intention of fueling communal conversations around history, humanity and healing. He believes that the roots of racism need to be removed, so love can rise.
As a Fimi Resident Artist, seangarrison adds a dimension of art that is rare and steeped in culture and historical context. His “Walking on Air” NFT series is available on Fimi Market.
Hear more about his journey in this Stuntin’ interview below.
seangarrison “The Darkness in My Skin”- A Live Painting Experience exhibition opens on August 13, 2022, at the Historic Mounds Theatre in St. Paul, MN. Visit his website for more details.