Shawn Campbell is an artist located in the Southeast United States. He earned a bachelor of fine arts with a concentration in photography from The University of Akron and a master of fine arts with a concentration in studio art from The University of Georgia. Campbell’s work engages within the spectacle of military, football, myth, religion, propaganda, and government. Its threads are woven together to form and uncover unexpected relationships between them. Borrowing from the aesthetics of Minimalism, Baroque, Pop Art, and Byzantine iconography, Campbell’s work also utilizes a variety of mediums including photography, sculpture, video, installation, and painting. The work is able to function in a broad and open manner due to its recognizable media and art-historical references, presenting questions and granting the viewer the opportunity to connect within the work openly.
By examining boundaries, ideas, objects and symbols intertwined throughout the myth of the American cowboy, Shawn Campbell points to frameworks used to influence and present an illusion to the masses. From smoking a cigarette to the iconic imagery of the Great Plains, the hope to strike it rich in a river bed, or digging deep in a shaft, the American Cowboy is there, or at least in myth as a white man who doesn’t talk much, but when he does it’s straight forward. The type of man who works for an honest buck, wanders from place to place, and has a moral duty to right a wrong. These ideas have become interlaced into the fabric of the American Dream. The cowboy, like the US, is complex. They both allow for contradiction within every value and trait they contain. Western Theater explores these contradictions by using them to present information to the viewer in an open manner, opening a channel for personal research and thinking.
To view more of Shawn’s work please visit their website.