Sean Norvet’s Paintings Mash Up Cartoons and Photo-realism

by Sasha BogojevPosted on

Drawing inspiration from old stickers, Howard Stern, cartoons, sunsets, reggae album covers, Garbage Pail Kids, T-Shirt graphics, Mad Magazine or sandwiches, Sean Norvet has been creating and showing his art that “mashes up elegant photo-realism with two-dimensional cartoon buffoonery”. Through a mixture of photo references and imagination, his pieces are sometimes explosive, sometimes still, but always focused on humorous side of things. Using his references the same way a Hip hop producer uses audio samples, he takes these visuals and applies them where needed by warping, distorting and patching them together. Always balancing between juxtaposing realistic elements against completely delusional parts, the themes of his paintings can vary from getting a DUI at a Pizza HutTaco Bell drive-thru, to a grandpa smoking DMT at IHOP.  Some of his works are depicting the state of American society in a form of an almost disturbing mashup of icons, logos and familiar images from pop culture.

Not intentionally trying to create shocking or provocative images, Norvet’s primary focus is to create work that “cracks him up”. In order to achieve that, he will use anything from logos, cartoon parts, food, cigarette butts, even TV grain, and blend it all together in an image that is both hilarious and somewhat warning. The tendency to experiment can be noticed in mediums used, with oil paint being the main choice, airbrush or epoxy putty, balancing the diversity. Similar assortments can be found in the list of classical and contemporary artists whose work he enjoys; though coming from different times, backgrounds, and using different tools to create diverse types of works, there is a certain constant present in the works of Peter Saul, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Dana Schutz, Llyn Foulkes, James Rosenquist, John Baldessari, Christian Rex Van Minnen, Francis Bacon, Robert Crumb, Basil Wolverton, Taylor Mckimens, Francine Spiegel or Neo Rauch. Sean Norvet will next exhibit in a 2-person exhibition with Jason Lascu at CG2 Gallery in Nashville in March.

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