Shawn Huckins: Zippers Short and Skinny
2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90404
Saturday, June 15 at 3:00 PM 5:00 PM
Ends Jun 13, 2024
Richard Heller Gallery is pleased to present, Zippers Short and Skinny, the first solo exhibition at the gallery for New Hampshire-based artist Shawn Huckins. Huckins will be in Los Angeles for the opening reception at the gallery on Saturday, June 15th, from 3-5 p.m. Pacific. We hope you will join us. About the Exhibition: Zippers Short and Skinny explores the complex phenomenon of masculinity within the societal landscape. As a continuation of the Dirty Laundry series, which surveyed the artist’s own identity, Zippers Short and Skinny aims to dissect the communal expectations and stereotypes that perpetuate masculinity, examining how they manifest in various facets of contemporary life. In these hand-painted works, silky fabrics and hand-woven latch hook textiles (a technique the artist learned from Huckins’ grandmother as a child) are combined with historical works of men and boys to confront the effects of rigid gender norms, which not only restrict the emotional expression and personal growth of individuals, but also contribute to systemic issues such as violence, discrimination, and inequality. The notion that strength equates to dominance and aggression, seeking to dismantle the male bravado narrative that reinforce harmful behaviors and attitudes as imbedded into our contemporary culture. Zippers Short and Skinny fosters dialogue and introspection, encouraging viewers to interrogate their own beliefs and behaviors while advocating for a more inclusive and equitable society. This body of work strives to contribute to the ongoing conversation surrounding gender, identity, and social justice, ultimately envisioning a future where all individuals are free to express themselves authentically, without fear or prejudice. About the Artist: American painter, Shawn Huckins (b. 1984), is best known for his fusion of technical skill and satirical wit. His paintings recreate classical American works of art in a darkly humorous manner and utilizes textiles, fabric, and text to showcase his appreciation of his homeland's history all while equally criticizing the nation in a modern millennial fashion. Huckins’ work contemplates and challenges the culture that surrounds him as he critiques politics, the male bravado, social media, and one’s own self. Huckins currently resides in the bucolic Monadnock region of southwestern New Hampshire. He studied at Keene State College in New Hampshire and The University of Wollongong in Australia and received his BA in Studio Arts in 2006. His work has been displayed in private and public collections across the country, including The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA, The Tucson Museum of Art, The TIA Collection, and The Vicki Myhren Gallery at The University of Denver. Recently, Huckins’ work has been shown at a solo exhibition entitled Pareidolia at K Contemporary of Denver; High Voltage III group exhibition at Nassima Landau Art Foundation in Tel Aviv, Israel; and a solo exhibition entitled Dirty Laundry at Duran Mashaal Gallery of Montréal. Huckins has received grants from The Haven Foundation of Maine, The Artists’ Fellowship Inc. of New York City, Colorado Creative Industries, and The Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, among others. His work has been featured in notable publications such as Forbes, Juxtapoz, Hi-Fructose Magazine, Huffington Post, New American Paintings, The Jealous Curator, and The Advocate. 5280 Magazine named Huckins as one of five artists to collect now.