Shawn McNulty is an American contemporary painter. His work can be found in galleries and private collections all over the world.
McNulty attended St. Johns University in Collegeville, Minnesota, from 1993 to 1997. He received a liberal arts education with a focus on Psychology and Art. After graduating college, he settled in Minneapolis and began painting used his web design skills to create an online portfolio, which was a new concept in 1998. John Seed, former Jean-Michel Basquiat assistant and art professor, wrote an article in 1999 profiling McNulty as one of the early artists to utilize the Internet as a platform to represent themselves. In 2002, McNulty was one of the founding members of Rosalux Gallery, which is a cooperative gallery based in Minneapolis that features contemporary visual artists from the Twin Cities. The gallery celebrated its tenth anniversary in March 2012, and McNulty has always been an active member.
The Southern Review, based at LSU, used McNulty’s Formality on the cover of its 2006 issue. In 2010, Manhattan’s Setai Fifth Avenue hotel purchased 206 of McNulty’s large archival pigment prints for the hotel’s corridors. In 2011, one of McNulty’s pieces, Shiver, was used in a national print ad for the Blue M&M campaign. The Midland Country Club in Midland, Michigan, commissioned the artist to create ten 30x60” diptychs for each of their suites in March of 2011.
Thick layers of acrylic and pumice and are applied, scraped off, reapplied, sliced off, etc. There’s a technique I call ‘scuffling’ which involves a repetitive chopping motion with the palette knife resulting in approximate parallel lines. There are usually little jagged characters that take form in the negative space that I call ‘skirmishes’ which become the kinetic energy of the piece. The color fields interplay with each other, attempting to find common ground resulting in complex and interesting edges. The process continues until a solution is found, always applying and mixing paint directly on the canvas, scraping away layers to reveal the ghostly characters of the previous.