Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sean Qualls Brings Moments to Life

Several years ago at a street fair in Park Slope, I had the pleasure of meeting artist Sean Qualls and falling in love with his work.  His use of simply stylized shapes and vibrant color has a visceral way of capturing his many themes- African American history, music history, heritage, empowerment, and youth.  When I first encountered Sean's work, I was drawn to a captivating painting of a young woman singing in a sparse, red room called, "A Precious Moment."  Being a singer myself, I was deeply moved, and I resolved to one day own the piece.  
Flash forward to a few weeks ago, and I finally contacted Sean about purchasing the print I have long-desired to add to my art collection.  However, after some back-and-forth, he persuaded me on an interesting idea.  Why not blow up the print on a large canvas in a way that will really make a statement?  He sent me some photos of two such pieces he had done for other clients and I knew right away he was right.  
The painting has always meant so much to me and I have held it in my heart for so many years, I realized it truly deserves it's proper due.  I had also inquired about a Marian Anderson drawing Sean did last year as part of a Black History Month series.  In the arresting drawing, Anderson's beautifully piercing eyes jump off the simple, almost rugged, black and white background, and convey so much in what feels like a tiny moment.  The drawing is almost photographic in it's fleetingness.  I think this is what Sean Qualls does best: reveal the depths of his subjects, without saying too much.  Thus, after much contemplation, I decided that the Marian Anderson drawing would be my Sean Qualls art purchase.  That is, until I have the money and space to buy "A Precious Moment" in its larger form.  Thinking about the piece arriving, I can't help but listen to Anderson sing my favorite rendition of "My Lord What a Morning."  You can listen too!
If you want to learn more about Sean Qualls, and also his talented wife/writer/illustrator, Selina Alko, click herehere and here!


  1. Just stopped by to see what cool things you had eyes on. Amazing artist-- the drawing is remarkable. Looking forward to checking out more of his art.

    1. So glad you're enjoying Sean's art! He's so great. Make sure you check back over the next few days. Have some posts I'm really excited about, including a music one I think you'll enjoy!