Shawn Bullen has been creating large-scale murals in San Francisco since 2011. He moved to New York City in 2016 but often returns to the Bay Area to create art inspired by the surroundings. In 2017 he painted a mural as part of 836M’s ephemeral mural program.
A Chicago native, Shawn grew up creating art and refined his techniques by painting graffiti and working with the American education nonprofit organization, City Year, creating murals in Chicago public schools. Shawn Bullen, Chris Gary, and a group of artists formed IDC Art House, dedicated to developing their creative talents and providing access to the arts in underserved communities. Shawn studied art at NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and then began traveling the world, creating murals and art shows, and teaching art.
His style often blends reality with his imaginative world, taking audiences on adventures through his work. Influenced by nature, the urban landscape, and people, Shawn often uses flowing lines throughout his work to give the paintings structure, depth, and movement.
During the first three weeks of January, Shawn added to a series of paintings titled Illuminated Droplets, Watching You Rise, and Over Colorful Skies in a hybrid open-studio art show at 836M Gallery in San Francisco. Shawn started these paintings during the Drevers’ Foundation Hotbed Gala in Tiburon (where they have been on display since 2015) to support Planet Hope, an organization providing outreach and educational resources to homeless, abused, and terminally ill children and their families. Shawn will now move the paintings to downtown San Francisco.
These large 5 by 4 feet paintings depict portraits with a spectrum of colors, with the sunrise overlaid onto the faces and a complex, imaginative world of memories and dreams over their heads. The paintings are an ode to precious times spent with friends.
Shawn Bullen came to San Francisco to share his artwork with the city and has been very grateful for the positive feedback and support he has received through painting with groups like Mother Brown’s Dining Room, the San Francisco Arts Commission, Google, and 836M. He looks forward to continuing to return here to share his work with the city.