See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Layering it on 

Twenty-nine-year-old artist, Shawn Morgan approaches his paintings the way a chef approaches a recipe. Piece by piece, each ingredient makes an important difference to the outcome of the meal. “While my work portrays a multitude of subjects, the underlying universal theme is that of layering. To me, layering is a symbol for the complexity of life, the fact that there is always more than one way to look at a situation, no absolute truth,” he says. His latest installation, The Infinite Layer, is an investigation into the meaning of life (his life, that is) and what happens when we dissect the strata that make up the whole.

Morgan, who began drawing as a high school student, says that his passion for painting was born while studying Fine Arts at the College for Creative Studies. An admittedly shy child, Morgan says that once he broke out of his shell and entered adulthood, he began to explore his metaphysical side — that, he says, is where he found his niche.

Dabbling in everything from charcoal drawings to painting on glass and paper to collage work with found objects, Morgan has perfected a signature style that uses a distinctive space vs. anti-space effect. He explains, “Many of the pieces on display have ‘windows,’ small square openings which distort or highlight certain areas of the piece. These are meant as a symbol for an individual’s or group’s perspective of the given subject.”

With the help of an unusual array of media, Morgan has managed to create an eerie but somehow serene body of work.


See The Infinite Layer at The Great Frame Up (215 Peabody St., Birmingham). This exhibit closes on July 2nd.

Eve Doster is the listings editor of Metro Times. E-mail

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 14, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit