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Enlightenment

Enlightenment (self portrait) 

Oil on Linen

40” x 30”

2022

(Private Collection)

Self Portrait of Artist, Shawn Michael Warren

La Reina Calafia

Oil on Canvas

48” x 36”

2023 

(Private Collection)

Created in 1510, by Spanish Poet Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo, Queen Calafia was the fictional queen of the Island of California, featured in “Las Sargas de Esplandían” (The Adventures of Esplandián). Over centuries, there have been many interpretations of her appearance, in murals, drawings and sculptures. Queen Calafia is widely believed to be the namesake of the state of California, as well as the inspiration for Wonder Woman and other heroic tales.

(Commissioned privately by FlexTech.ai, currently on loan with the U.S. Embassy in Madrid as part of the State Department's Art in the Embassies Program)

Abbot's Waterway

Abbot’s Waterway

Oil on Canvas

84” x 64”

2019

(Collection of The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Los Angeles, CA)

This narrative piece depicts the unknown black workers that helped develop and complete Abbot Kinney's Venice Canals in 1905 Los Angeles, California. Although their laborious contributions led to the success of the canals, the black laborers were not allowed to take residence in Venice, due to racist housing laws and racial segregation. The painting is in the permanent collection of The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles, opening in 2023.

In a Promised Land

In a Promised Land

Oil on Canvas

74” x 144”

(Collection of 21c MuseumHotels, Louisville, KY)

"In A Promised Land" revisits the aftermath of the horrific Tulsa Massacre of 1921, which left Black Wall Street - an affluent black community in America - in ruin. What's even more unnerving is that many survey courses of American and African American history had made a glaring omission to this event in history, until recent fictional shows such as HBO's Watchmen and Lovecraft Country brought the story to mainstream media. One has to wonder how this is even possible, but in the American conscience, forgetting has always been easier than remembering.

In a country where most would like to consider racial discrimination something that all but ended with emancipation, and to think that holocausts are something perpetrated on foreign soils, a collective amnesia lasting nearly a century has buried the fact that a Black Holocaust did happen on American soil. The Tulsa race riot of 1921 is considered by many to be the deadliest occurrence of racial violence in American history. 

Troubled Waters

Troubled Waters

Charcoal and Graphite on Paper

96” x 216”

The protection and preservation of clean water has reached an unprecedented critical level across this country and the World. With the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, the ongoing fight to protect the clean waters in Standing Rock, oil spills in our oceans, and the threat of the EPA's Great Lakes Restoration project losing significant funding, it is clear that our most precious natural resource is reaching high levels of contamination. "Troubled Waters" is an allegory depicting those who have been and are being affected by the contamination of water here in the U.S., and it serves as a foreshadowing of things to come if all attempts to prevent further damage to our waters fail.

The House of Duvall

The House of Duvall

Oil on Canvas

48” x 36”

2021

(Private Collection)

Duvall’s career began in Hollywood in the 80s, but he reached international stardom when he migrated to South Africa in the 90s (right before the end of Apartheid). He was bestowed the honor of designing all garments for the Royal Wedding of President Nelson Mandela’s daughter, Zinzi Mandela - an event that other top international designers were vying for. Duvall became the face of Fashion in Africa, some have even considered him as a fashion Royal. His clients have ranged from the Mandela Family, to His Majesty King Mswati III and Queen LaNgangaza with the Royal Family of Swaziland, Congresswoman Maxine Waters & Diane Watson, Patti LaBelle, Whitney Houston, Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson, and Luther Vandross.

To tell his entire story would take a long time, since it is expansive and is still being written, but I believe it was appropriate to immortalize him in a painting & sculpture. It has been an honor to capture his likeness and essence in both pieces. As time moves forward, it is my hope that his story becomes mainstream again.