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

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