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46

Beowulf Sheehan (b. 1968)

John Lewis, New York, November 15, 2016 (November 15, 2016)

$500-$700

Price Realized: $625
Includes Buyer’s Premium


Photograph
12″ x 18″

This item was donated by The Artist.

10% of the net proceeds of the sale of this Artwork will be shared with the Artist.

This item ships from NY 10003

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About The Work

Rep. John Lewis (1940-2020) championed civil rights at large, actively advocating for the ability to vote and against segregation and discrimination. He survived beatings as a result of police brutality, participated in Freedom Rides, and assisted in organizing the March on Washington and in leading the March to Selma. Lewis assisted in dismantling and calling for accountability for racist infrastructure as a Representative of Georgia in the House from 1987 until his passing in 2020, and encouraged the establishment of the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture. For his lifelong efforts and sacrifices, he was recognized with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Elie Wiesel award.

Lewis was also a prolific collector of and advocate for Black artists. In an interview with Sugarcane Magazine in 2016, he said:

“I developed an appreciation for art when I was in school in Nashville during the 1960s. The great artist, Aaron Douglass, taught me art appreciation at Fisk University, and during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, African American art served as an inspiration to us all. Seeing our work, in the struggle, depicted on canvas or in other forms of fine art was very uplifting. My appreciation for African American art grew out of these experiences … These are universal concepts and ideas expressed beautifully and innovatively by African American artists. Perhaps some museums and collectors have finally realized that we all have stories to share, and it is not possible to tell the whole story of this nation without including African American art.”

In his portrait for Sheehan, the viewer sees Representative John Lewis seated, in a side profile captured from the left. Lewis’ eyes impart a focus, gravity, and resilience true to his life. The black background contrasts starkly with his watch and wedding band, perhaps indicating the significance of time and his commitment to his late wife, Lillian.

~ Gabrielle Discafani, Student at Rutgers University, Master of Arts in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies, Center for Art Law Spring 2021 Graduate Intern.

Beowulf Sheehan

, b. 1968

Beowulf Sheehan is known for his poignant portraits of political leaders and figures in the arts. Born in Missouri in 1968, Sheehan grew up in Florida, spending time experimenting with a camera. His photographs were shared and formed a basis for connection with his peers. Later in life, Sheehan would refine his skills at the International Center of Photography. Further growth came from his time spent at New York University, pursuing a Master’s program for Visual Arts Management. He currently resides in New York City.
Striking photographs of Sheehan’s have been featured in ubiquitous publications, such as Elle, Entertainment Weekly, The New Yorker, Newsweek, Time, Vanity Fair, and Vogue. They have been exhibited in and collected by museums, including the Alan Koppel Gallery in Chicago, the F. M. Dostoevsky Literary Memorial Museum in Russia, the Museum of Chinese in America located in New York, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
The international success Sheehan has achieved testifies to his lifelong talents in connecting people and conveying the individual personality and influence of his subjects, which can be found in his 2018 book AUTHOR: The Portraits of Beowulf Sheehan.
For more of Beowulf Sheehan’s work, please visit: https://www.beowulfsheehan.com/

Beowulf Sheehan

b. 1968

Beowulf Sheehan is known for his poignant portraits of political leaders and figures in the arts. Born in Missouri in 1968, Sheehan grew up in Florida, spending time experimenting with a camera. His photographs were shared and formed a basis for connection with his peers. Later in life, Sheehan would refine his skills at the International Center of Photography. Further growth came from his time spent at New York University, pursuing a Master’s program for Visual Arts Management. He currently resides in New York City.
Striking photographs of Sheehan’s have been featured in ubiquitous publications, such as Elle, Entertainment Weekly, The New Yorker, Newsweek, Time, Vanity Fair, and Vogue. They have been exhibited in and collected by museums, including the Alan Koppel Gallery in Chicago, the F. M. Dostoevsky Literary Memorial Museum in Russia, the Museum of Chinese in America located in New York, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
The international success Sheehan has achieved testifies to his lifelong talents in connecting people and conveying the individual personality and influence of his subjects, which can be found in his 2018 book AUTHOR: The Portraits of Beowulf Sheehan.
For more of Beowulf Sheehan’s work, please visit: https://www.beowulfsheehan.com/

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