Artist Feature: Shawn Huckins

Editor Shenyah Webb, Art, May 5th, 2015


Shawn Huckins painting nailed magazine

Communication and connection in our culture have clearly taken a drastic turn as we’re face-planted into our devices, compulsively connecting, when in all actuality we’re doing just the opposite as we become removed from the people around us. In our “always on” lives, I worry we are too immersed in this digital world and not present enough in the real world, inhibiting our development of closeness and trust, and reducing the amount of empathy we feel.

The paintings of Shawn Huckins have really NAILED what I am talking about. In The American __tier series, he explores 19th century American painting and photography in context of 21st century lexicons, exhibiting the clash of these side by side realities and how our culture has changed. Are generations to come forgetting how to spell or write complete sentences? It’s beginning to pose a threat to traditional conventions in writing, not to mention oral communication. When I first discovered his work, I initially felt a bit grim, contemplating the future of our communication and the basic degradation of language itself. After that all soaked in, I did get in a pretty good laugh as Huckins brings these serious matters into a pretty humorous light.

“My work is about how we have forgotten to have intelligible, in-depth conversations with our peers. Everything has been shortened and abbreviated out of convenience to make things quicker and easier, but the emotion and human psyche has been lost.”

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Shawn Huckins painting nailed magazineShawn Huckins (1984) was first introduced to painting after inheriting his grandmother’s oil painting set at a young age. As an adult, it’s taken a route through studies in architecture and film, plus a stint living on the other side of the world, for him to gravitate back towards art. Since graduating from Keene State with a major in Studio Arts, Huckins has taken inspiration from 18th Century American portraiture to 20th Century Pop Artists and preoccupied his work with a contemporary discourse on American culture. He currently lives and works in Denver, CO. To view his entire portfolio, visit his artist site here.


Shenyah Webb

Shenyah Webb is a Portland-based visual artist and musician. She has been with NAILED Magazine since its inception in 2012 and has served as the Arts Editor and a Contributing Editor since its launch in 2013. A Detroit native, she attended The College for Creative Studies, where she focused on Fine Art and Industrial Design. She is currently enrolled in a Somatic Expressive Arts Education and Therapy training program, studying under Lanie Bergin. You can learn more about Shenyah here. (