With our current solo exhibition “In Dreams” coming to a close May 25th we decided to get deeper into the mind of Sean Newport to learn more about what brought the show to life and where he gets his inspiration from.
1AM: People are always amazed that you create your triangular pieces out of wood. Can you tell us more about your sculpting process? How do you get your pieces so precise and exact?
SN: Practice practice practice. I’ve spent hours obsessing over how to cut the perfect shapes. I use a table saw and a mitre saw to rip and chop the wood. I’ve also made a few jigs/templates which speed up the process a little. Once shapes are cut I then sand each side to smooth it out and shapes it just as perfect as I can before I primer paint them all. Once the primer is cured I hand sand the paint to smooth it real nice for the 2-3 layers of paint to follow. And then couple clear coats for longevity.
1AM: What do you struggle with the most when you are creating your works? Do you have a favorite and least favorite part?
SN: Time! There’s never enough of it! Also, organization is crucial. Especially with all these shapes. Everything is labeled and categorized. I love the entire process to be honest. My least favorite part is just how exhausted I get toward to the end of each project. I’m really going to try to schedule a 1-2 day break before I start putting shapes on panels. Otherwise I find myself in a lucid state. Not the worst but not at my best during an important part of my process.
1AM: Artists like Dali and Damien Hirst have shared that psychedelics have inspired a lot of their art and as an artist you’re pretty open about your use of psychedelics. In what ways have psychedelics contributed to your life and artistic process?
SN: Psychedelics are like a gym membership for your brain. It’s not an overnight thing. It takes work to get comfortable with yourself. But! If you can reach that state, there’s so much to learn about yourself. Just having that allows me to be free in my creative process.
1AM: Do you have any new patterns you are working with? Any recent new discoveries that you are excited about?
SN: I’m always exploring new patterns. I have a few optical patterns I am working on that I really want to explore with various colors.
1AM: You’re local to San Francisco and have been working out of the mission district for many years now. How has this city inspired you and shaped your work?
SN: I’ve lived and worked in the mission for 8 years. I co-founded a warehouse space called Engine Works back in 2010. Having this space has completely changed my life direction. We used to be open to the public but were shut down by the SF entertainment committee. After that we all started working on our own projects. That’s when I started making art again. Having this warehouse and the space to explore ideas and myself really helped me get to where I am right now.
We love Sean’s work and we highly encourage everyone to come check it out in person to experience the tactile nature of his pieces. The exhibition is on view now in Downtown San Francisco and will remain up until May 25th. For all inquiries and interests contact firstname.lastname@example.org.