Shawn Conn

After 3 years at the Rochester Institute of Technology, studying painting and illustration under the tutelage of mentors like Judd Williams, Steve Loar and Fred Meyer, I served 4 years in the Army.  After my time, in the Army, I have spent the last 25 plus years of my life as a successful tattooist and freelance illustrator, but I had never veered far from my first love, painting. In 2006, I began to paint fervently, working to define my style and artistic voice. I quickly began to exhibit in numerous group shows around the United States and globally, including in Denmark and Thailand.


After 2009, I felt my work was becoming forced and uninspired, for the sake of entering numerous shows. So, I limited my submissions to shows, and spent the next several years redefining my style and defining my impetus for painting. In 2017, I reemerged with a renewed vigor and defined purpose for painting. It was at this time, that I began experimenting with integrating traditional art with digital art in response to society’s explosive embrace of technology.

I live and work in Rochester, NY as a full time painter and tattooist, with my wife, 2 of our 5 children and our dog, Ginger.


Artist's Statement

"The Universe was looking for artists, so I applied."

Over my years, as an artist, my artist’s statement changes on an almost minute by minute basis. Like most human beings my emotional state at any one given time, affects my decisions and actions. Creating art is no different. If I had to nail down a consistent theme in my work, it would be that I’m fascinated by the interplay of color and texture. Since my days at RIT I have been obsessed with texture in my art and how it affects the application of color to the artwork. Through the application of various textures, followed by layer upon layer of color, I try to create mesmerizing windows into contemplation as the viewer realizes that the art becomes much more complex as one approaches it and discovers a dynamic symphony between texture, color and light.


Music is an integral part, in the creation of my art, invoking a meditative state as I go through my process from start to finish. Music can be the gateway to our innermost emotions and most authentic selves. I listen to atmospheric, ambient music, created by musicians such as John Serrie, Max Corbacho and Robert Rich. The music is as much an important part of my process as the paint I use, that I encourage those who view my work to do the same and lose oneself in a wondrous landscape of texture, color and light.  

Galleries & Representation

Whitman Works Company, 1826 Penfield Rd., Penfield, NY 14526   585-420-8654

Indiewalls16 West 36th Street, Suite 1001, New York NY 10018 

Solo Exhibitions


-Windows Into Darkness, Whitman Works Co., Rochester, NY

Selected Group Exhibitions


-Solstice: Studies in Light & Dark, Whitman Works Co., Rochester, NY

-Fairy Tales, Milkcrate Space, Hanover, MD


-In the Realm of Dreams and Fear, Longwood Art Gallery, Bronx, NY


-Here Be Monsters, Space Gallery, San Francisco, CA
-The 40 oz Show, MF Gallery, New York, NY


-Level 13: Video Game Art, Altered Esthetics, Minneapolis, MN


-6x6x2009, Rochester Contemporary Art Center, Rochester, NY
-Art Awake, Pixley Warehouse, Rochester, NY 
-Superheroes & Supervillains, Look At This Gallery, Chang Mai, Thailand


-Art Awake, Studio 55, Rochester, NY
-6x6x2008, Rochester Contemporary Art Center, Rochester, NY
-Freedom & Resident Artists IV, Altered Esthetics, Minneapolis, MN
-Monster Mash-up, Club Pearl, Rochester, NY


-The Board Show, Space Gallery, San Francisco, CA
-Resident Artist's Show, Altered Esthetics, Minneapolis, MN
-CPopportunity!, CPop Gallery, Detroit, MI
-Dirty Little Secrets, Altered Esthetics, Minneapolis, MN
-Forbidden Art: Finance of Expression, Copenhagen, Denmark
-The Last Gasp, Washington School of Photography, Bethesda, MD


-The Guerrilla Art Show, Altered Esthetics, Minneapolis, MN
-The Dirty Show, Detroit, MI
-Dia De Los Meurtos, AKA Gallery, Oklahoma City, OK
-A Carnivorous Delight, Gallery Noir, Los Angeles, CA
-The Art of Horror, Altered Esthetics, Minneapolis, MN
-International Art Money, Permanent Collection, Denmark
- The Sugar Coated Show, The Pop Shop, Lakewood, OH
-The Last Big Thing, Baltimore, MD

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All images are © 2019 Shawn Conn