Born Tashif Turner, Detroit-based musician and artist Sheefy McFly, has come a long way since selling his paintings to buy a Hot N’ Ready. In 2017, Metro Times
readers voted him the year’s best artist
and his work has been showcased in stunning solo exhibitions as well as in group projects at Red Bull House of Art and Playground Detroit.
We visited the multi-dimensional artist at his studio where he broke down the conceit behind each of his latest works-in-progress.
Sheefy, Why Don’t You Love Me?
All photos by Sara Barron
“My past few years have been like a big gumbo pot of so many different styles and different meanings and I’m just seeing what works, what doesn’t, and now it’s rounding off to a point where I’m putting myself into the work, it’s more personal. Like this one, ‘Sheefy, why don’t you love me?’ I’ve been in relationships where I put art before everything else — before my family, before love — and it’s just been a question I’ve heard so many times that it manifested into a painting.”
“This one is a pop-art and social piece. I named it Blac-Man instead of Pac-Man, so I made the Pac-Man into a minstrel character and I got cops chasing him — all the ghosts are cops. Then, I have stereotypical power-ups like money, liquor, drugs, chicken, watermelon … It’s sort of satire but, at the same time, I know a lot of people feel this way … like they’re stuck in the same level and this is all that’s put in front of them and they’re chasing it constantly.”
“This started off as a random painting for PBR, but the more I worked on it, I wanted to illustrate the black woman's spirit. Serene, powerful, and godly.”
“I was pushing myself to do something different because I have a lot of friends that work in digital media, so they really got me hip to using an iPad to draw. So, I would draw like I was painting and it made it so much easier because you don’t have to wait for layers to dry. My whole approach for this style is painting digitally but backwards. I just really want to step up my art to being museum-worthy”
“Sometimes you have your breakthrough, or you just get tired of doing regular shit and end up just throwing paint at the damn canvas.”