Sacred Sneaker: Exploration of Identity
Artist Sean Paul Gallegos‘ star is on the rise and one to watch. The New York Times [June 14, 2013] mentioned his work in a recent exhibition at the Museo del Barrio’s ‘Bienal 2013’ Explores Self and Origins. REVOLT Magazine [Volume 1, Issue #4, 2013] listed him as one of the top 10 artists in New York City . And, in 2013 and 2012, he was chosen as Artist in Residence, 4heads @ G.I.A.F., Governors Island, NY. Sean Paul’s moment might just be beginning.
Gallegos, is many things but chooses not to be defined by any one aspect of his colorful life. Till the age of eight he grew up traveling the US with his family and a father who was a horse jockey. He spent half the year traveling and the other half in Taos submersed in his Native American culture where he would often sing at ceremonies. His mother and father split and she remarried five more times leading one of her new husbands to bring Sean Paul to church and church choir. Gallegos loved to sing and dreamed of attending the Juilliard School for opera in New York. After his big voice was briefly in a boy band, Gallegos wound up at Julliard, but in a twist of irony; in their costume department, where he would toil for hours in the dark basement making each production’s garments. While working and sewing, Sean Paul would carve and create works of art for himself. Encouraged by others at the costume shop and an acquaintance at his apartment building who gave him five pair of knock off Air Jordans and told him “to make something out of these”, Sean Paul began his art career in earnest.
Living in the Bronx, and being exposed to a culture that feels it more important to have the latest shoes rather than eat, propelled Gallegos to express this cultural disconnect that he saw all around him. His work explores Consumerism, worship, and our identity using everyday objects like sneakers and discarded trash. He says he is “sanctifying the discarded through transformation.” Gallegos is reluctant to talk about his ideas and past; and like many artists, feels that the work should be interpreted by each viewer and stand on its own. His work must be resonating since his has no fewer than three shows opening in the same weekend in September. For more information on Sean Paul, visit his website: http://www.seanpaulgallegos.com.
To see bonus images of his work visit our Sean Paul Gallegos Pinterest board.