SHAWN BULLEN@836M - 836m


Shawn Bullen

EXHIBITION DATES: 01/03/2023 - 01/20/2023




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.

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.

Illuminated Droplets Watching You Rise Over Painted Skies, 2015

Bella (left)

I Always Hoped I’d Find

Another Boat Out In The Sea

I Never Thought I’d Find

Someone As Lost As Me

Chris (right)

Two Flowers In Sunshine

Help Eachother Grow

We Sit And Talk The Time Away

About Everything We Don’t Know

About Shawn Bullen

Shawn Bullen (b. 1988) is a muralist who brightened up the streets of San Francisco from 2014-2017. A Chicago native, Shawn Bullen’s creative journey started as a child having drawing contests against his sister on the back of their Dad’s Ph.D. dissertation papers. Shawn developed his passion for art early on through a coloring book lesson he received from his grandmother and his sister’s figure drawing classes at the Art Institute of Chicago. Photography and drawing became Shawn’s obsession in high school, winning him several awards and scholarships. The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago displayed his art when he was eighteen.

Bullen refined his techniques at Columbia College Chicago before transferring to NSCAD in Halifax, Canada, where he worked with Halifax Government Mural Program and began doing professional mural work. Shawn eventually formed ID Crew with friends, later expanding into the art collective IDC Art House with friend Chris Gary to contribute to and better communities through art. Shawn received the opportunity to paint several murals and host art shows worldwide. San Francisco was one of the first cities Shawn returned to with recurring projects and workshops, teaming with Tyra Fennell at the San Francisco Arts Commission to produce several large-scale art projects with collaborations with companies such as Google to American Express. In 2016, Shawn moved to New York City to start IDC Gallery and continues to travel globally, creating art.