Sebastian Shames

Sebastian Shames
To leave something behind

Teetering on the threshold between order and nature, my work invites the viewer to consider the beauty in the mundane and explore the contrasts in serialized works.  I am interested in the intersection of the natural world and our built environment. My primary mediums in sculpture are concrete, steel, and wood.

The aim of my new series, To leave something behind, is to engage the observer in considering beauty in all its forms. Responding to juxtaposition of my upbringing in Maine, with my exploration of the urban landscapes of New York and Paris; my work naturally merges these aspects of my experience, and as a result my sculptures feel at home, both indoors on concrete floors, and outdoors in grassy meadows.

My sculptures are not representational, but are shaped by the process and materiality of the concrete. The works I create do not occupy space as much as they create it. The mold-making process from which my sculptures emerge, forces me to consider the presence and absence of the works I create, as all that is hollow becomes whole. I seek solace in the repetition of the finishing process of my sculptures, and the titles of my works often speak to the pleasure of engaging in simply monotonous tasks, such as: “The joy of doing a singular task for hours on end”, and “Endless yearning, or the ceaseless drive to make one’s self whole.”

Underscoring all of my work is the theme of absence and the void. My sculptures consider what is missing, eroded by time, or carved away. The absence is meant to be felt as much as seen. Their tactile nature, with strong smooth sides, and delicate rough edges beg the viewer to reach out and directly engage with them, or recoil in caution. These contrasting surfaces ask questions about their construction and materiality, particularly with regards to the ubiquity of concrete.



About the Artist

Sebastian Shames is a sculptor and jewelry maker. Born in Baltimore, Maryland in 2000, and raised in Portland, Maine, Shames is a recent graduate of Connecticut College with a bachelors in Art. Shames recently participated in the Senior Thesis Show, where he received an Honorable Mention from the Art Department. Shames’ 1,000+ lbs. concrete sculpture: AVOI(D)ANCE is on permanent view outside of Connecticut College’s Cummings Fine Arts Center.