Sean Tully

Sean Tully, born and raised in the Los Angeles area, embodies a unique amalgam of culture and style. A second-generation surfer with regard to traditional surfing aesthetic, Sean surfs professionally and has been featured in various publications such as Surfer, Surfer’s Path, and Surfer’s Journal. His travels have included Europe, Central America, South America and Australia. Industry support and working relationships with noted photographers have allowed Sean to maintain a consistent presence within the surf community.

As an artist, Sean has achieved a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the California Institute of the Arts and anticipates to further his scholastic efforts in a Los Angeles based postgraduate program. His practice emphasizes an exchange between painting, photography, object making and writing. The work is emotionally charged contemporary art, engaging influence from various fringe cultures, perceptions of artistic nostalgia and ubiquitous life experiences shared by all. The work denotes a range of shared aesthetic that embraces aspects of distortion, energy, and tapestry to convey feelings of human experience from a sincere viewpoint.
His more recent artistic endeavors, drawing from both surf and art interests, involve the development of a large-scale installation and object-based exhibition that explores concepts of territorialism within surf culture and relates them to larger social conditions outside of surfing.

Through painting, I convey ideas of human experience and present them to viewers from a personal perspective that allows them to associate with their similar and shared experiences. My collage paintings explore fundamental concepts of identity, love, rebellion and desire. Mixed media creates a platform from which I share emotions with viewers through the combined use of image and text. Selected areas of the paintings are buffed while other areas remain untouched. This creates a rich layering of texture, image and word that articulates experienced emotions, yet escapes the full impact of clarity.

Operating within a similar range of aesthetic, my photography embraces aspects of distortion, energy, and tapestry. Initially influenced by the photography of painters Andy Warhol and Cy Twombly, I produce photographs as a means of creative expression outside painting. Ideas that are central to my photographic interests concern youth culture idioms, concepts of informality, and the expansibility of energy. Strictly using film-based equipment, I capture snapshots of ephemeral moments within youth and beach cultures. The images are often depicted with formal imperfections including light leaks, lens flares, and improper exposure times, which aid in the aesthetic qualities I am drawn toward.

An invisible area exists within emotional content that is neither overtly nor implicitly present - I remain steadfast in seeking this territory. By working in painting as well as photography, my aim is to create work that embodies the implications of the more complex aspects of the human condition. As my artistic practice progresses, I find myself challenged by depicting the human experience on a personal and approachable level.

all images © 2011 Sean Tully. Content on this site may not be reproduced without prior consent of the artist.