Gavin Sewell

Mixed-media artist GAVIN SEWELL specializes in contemplative, large-scale collages and intricate wall-sculptures. Often exploring themes of history and time, Sewell’s works can be seen as contemporary takes on mandalas, icons, memory gardens, or totem poles – thought provoking objects in which viewers may find reflective calm or personal insight in the face of deep complexity.

Continuing in the found-object traditions of Kurt Schwitters, Louise Bourgeois, the Kienholzes, and Julian Schnabel, the artist uses gestural painting, photography, and salvaged 3-d items in his constructions. He weaves together layers of different materials like plots in a novel, adding elements strategically or intuitively to reach a dynamic equilibrium of storytelling and emotion.

Sewell’s paradoxical experience as a visionimpaired painter makes him particularly sensitive to the ambiguous, the marginal, and the different. Conceptually his work suggests the interconnectedness of seemingly different things and communities, while aesthetically the work favors rich surfaces that invite the human touch and ask us to ‘see’ them with our hands as well as with our eyes.

These meticulously crafted and durable works are best appreciated over long periods of time, where their interplay of storytelling and hypnotic suggestion invite viewers to imagine their own narratives of the coincidental, the sublime, and the hopeful.

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Mural installation by Gavin Sewell celebrates school life and local heros & sheros at Smothers Elementary School 4400 Brooks St NE, Washington, D.C., DC 20019