We had the pleasure of a chat and a cocktail with NYC artist Shane Bullock. Shane is Jamaican-American, born in New Jersey and has been living in NYC for 15 years. With a B.A. in psychology, Shane has an ongoing interest in the subject, which informs his current artwork exploring human relationships. NYC has influenced his work heavily, finding the density and diversity of people living amongst each other inspiring on a daily basis.
A little background Shane, when did you first realize art was your path?
I started taking art seriously later in life. I first used it mainly as a form of therapy. It made me feel in control of my life. I started as many kids do, drawing comic book characters which I still do and love. I taught myself how to paint and draw and experimented in many different forms of art from graffiti to comic book illustrations to portraits and now abstract art. I then used my art to make handmade clothing to get my art out there.
Tell us about your favorite art world experience?
The 2018 mural in Wynwood, Miami. I enjoyed this experience the most. It was the largest I’ve ever seen my work. Bigger than life. Also, the process of painting it, interacting with passersby, people watching and inquiring. I got to connect and share the story.
You have an interesting, long-standing project, “Everyday People”, please share a little about this project?
“Everyday People” is an abstract interpretation of how I see people in society. Each of the characters in the vocabulary I created are different but made up of the same formula. Just like no two people are the same, no two characters are the same. I never repeat the patterns the exact same way. I like to use abstract backgrounds to set the mood or signal some sort of location. I later painted my “Everyday People” characters on to hard copy photographs that I took of a variety of people that I have met; friends, family, strangers- everyday people.
I have painted these characters in diverse locations, the Spotify headquarters in Manhattan, a wall in Wynwood Art District in Miami, etc. I want people to really see this project as the beauty of humanity. These characters are a sort of equalizer and no matter your age, race, sex you can be interpreted as “Everyday People”. “Everyday People” couldn’t be better timed given the current political climate. People need to take a step back – go on Hiatus if you will – from their identities for just one second to realize that we are all one. I believe artists have a vital part in this ongoing, global, discussion.
In 2021 you completed a street mural in Brooklyn at The Springs, for Hiatus Tequila. Since its completion many other artists have videoed or photographed themselves performing with your work as an inspirational back drop. How does it feel to influence people in such a positive way?
It’s funny because that wasn’t the initial goal or my thinking while painting the mural. It’s hard to explain how this feels. I mean, the first time I saw it happen was on social media when a performance artist videoed himself and a partner dancing in front of and kind of like with the mural, it just made my day. It wasn’t the reason the I did it, but it becomes the reason why I want to do it. When you get that result you want to keep engaging and connecting that way.
Directed by Ross Stern
Blanco, Repo, or Añejo?
Blanco for sure. Crisp finish is what it’s about.
What’s your Hiatus?
Right now it’s been virtual reality video games, the meta.. with a hiatus in hand. That’s my hiatus.