Sean Gerard Clark is a native of Chattanooga, Tennessee who has lived and worked in New Orleans for the past eight years. Before coming to New Orleans, Sean graduated from Morehouse College with a Bachelors of Science in Biology with a concentration in Public Health and African-American Studies. Sean has always found art as a tool for navigating life throughout his work and academic career. He began his artistic practice as a landscape painter and over the years has transitioned into a variety of subjects that investigate the human condition. Sean is a self-taught artist who favors the use of palette knives, oil and acrylic paints, and collage materials. Sean’s mixed media piece, “Unresolved Grief” was featured in Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative as a part of the organization's efforts to increase emotional awareness of mental health issues. In 2019 Sean was accepted into the Louisiana Contemporary at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Sean recently completed a 5 month residency at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans. Coupled with his time as a health educator, he has led art classes that focus on helping students find their own creative voice through journal and mask making. Throughout his artistic career he has been influenced by artists such as Sammie Nicely, Jean Michel Basquiat, Benny Andrews and Bill Sienkiwicz along with writers such as James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison. From this point of inspiration, Sean has created works to reflect identity and history, while sparking ideas in the minds of viewers.
Artist + Sean Clark
Describe yourself in one word. Sangfroid
What do you love the most about creating art in New Orleans?
I love the creative energy in the air. If I ever hit a creative snag, I'll go for a walk and New Orleans provides.
Describe your creative process. Are there any rituals or rites of passage you exercise before you begin a new piece? I sometimes sketch the piece out. I play with the image. distort it. My ideas emerge as night as I'm falling asleep. I'll wake up sometimes to sketch it or write it down. The next morning I attempt to bring it to life.
Where do you draw inspiration? Silence. History. Nature. Science. African Masks. Comic Books.
Who are your artistic influences or gurus? Sammie Nicely, Bill Sienkiwicz, Jean Michel Basquiat
In New Orleans, art and music go hand in hand. What type of music, band or song lyric best describes your work? It's somewhere on the spectrum between jazz and rap. Boom Bap.
Where can we find you when you are not creating art? At work. Fixing things with my friends, eating, watching movies, reading James Baldwin and Bell Hooks. When I'm not actively painting I'm investigating ideas that will later contribute to my creativity.
What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year? I love the fall morning and nights.
What is something people don’t know about you? A fun fact. I dance every morning with my coffee.
All works listed online are available to be viewed at Where Y'Art Satellite Gallery at the Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery by appointment.
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