The Work: These paintings are the perspective of one person: What Sean sees of the world, portrayed in selected snapshots, a portfolio of emotive paintings that he has crafted in wave upon wave of palpable relief and smoldering color. Sean’s hands have rendered this neon-lit yet intriguingly chiaroscuro world in layers of quick-set plaster and oil tints applied with brushes and palette knives.
We see upon some canvases the faces of people and places that are exquisite, tender, wondrous, and dreamlike; sensuality and spirituality abound here. Then, one turns a corner and also glimpses a darker world populated by those who struggle in its margins: defeated, unforgiven, incriminated and silently calling for our attention and compassion; watching us warily lest we also bring along judgment and hypocrisy - the logs in our own eyes as we loftily disdain the splinters in theirs.
The Artist:Sean Hoodye was born in Long Beach, California, and grew up in West Covina, attending Nogales High School and also Mt. San Antonio College. He was especially close to his grandmother, “Miss Angie” Scroggins, who helped cultivate young Sean’s capacity for observation and reflection, as they shared long, intense discussions on their views on religion, history, life, and politics. Sean’s parents, Sandra Blaydow and Samuel Hoodye Jr., also nurtured his love of the arts, by taking him with them to musicals, concerts, plays, and museums. His attitudes and interests took root in supportive, shared family experiences like these, and from an early age, Sean’s talents began to flourish. With a smile, Sean says, “I was an artist before I knew I was black! As a child, I was constantly drawing underwater battle scenes, and my drawings were always more realistic than everyone else’s.”
When Sean is not creating new works in his home art studio, he is a Defensive Tactics Instructor for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department, where he helps people give themselves the mental and physical tools to stay alive. “Being a teacher is the most rewarding job I have ever had,” he notes. Sean has been a Sheriff’s Deputy for 25 years, and has been a street cop, detective, and on the SWAT team.
He is married with two sons. “My dream,” Sean says, “is that we raise two happy, healthy, loving men, that want to make the world a better place.” He adds, “We should want to leave the world a better place than when we got here.”
Welcome, viewers. You are invited to step inside Sean Hoodye’s world.