Sean Mahan - Like Raindrops

Like Raindrops by Sean Mahan
Outré Gallery Fitzroy

5 – 17 June 2020

Sean Mahan is a social realist figurative painter who works with graphite and acrylic washes on wood to depict a sense of wonder about the innate warmth of the human character and its conflict with structures of power and control.

This new series of paintings by Sean, entitled Like Raindrops, inquires into our temporary and passing existence. If you take a larger view, we are like raindrops — small and falling past without any absolute direction. But if you look closely at a raindrop, it is captivating because it uniquely reflects the beauty of the world around it through its own special teardrop-shaped lens. We are each small and passing, a being amidst a storm of beings, all trying to exist for a short time together. We endure pain, suffering, and compete to survive all towards an unknown purpose.

What seems to make it all worthwhile? Maybe it is the construction of a kind of beauty that is sweet and kind, comforting and fun. How do we reshape the storm to create the most beauty, sweetness, kindness, and fun? How do we each uniquely reflect that beauty from the world around us?

We seem to be pulled by the gravity of our divided nature, sometimes nurturing and soft, sometimes thundering and treacherous. And within each of us is a sea of memories, each memory itself like a fleeting raindrop, reflecting the past that shaped us. Time washes over our memory as it passes, distorting and reshaping our view of our past. We reflect our nature, our past, and the present environment around us to create a unique and new reflection. And together, each of our particular raindrops fall, mix, and evaporate — to fall again and reflect into the future.

Each painting in the series is set amidst the falling rain, surrounded by a stormy darkness. Each explores the temporary and passing sweetness and beauty we might hold onto — if only for a moment.

Read our interview with Sean to learn more about his art practice.