Shaun Ellison, Australian Open, 2021; Original Painting

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What began as a tool to process South African artist Shaun Ellison’s relationship to the sport of tennis has grown into a vibrant, evocative practice that captures the spontaneity and fragility of groups, success and failure in sport. Based in Brooklyn, New York, the artist brings unity to many of the inherent contradictions of tennis and its history, and uses color, expressive composition, and unexpected figures and motifs to touch on the diversity, rigor and growth of the sport and its cultural legacy. Ellison studied at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, School of Visual Arts and NY Studio School. While at Louisiana Lafayette, the artist played for the school’s Division 1 tennis team before competing professionally on the ATP Tour. Recent exhibitions include Hit & Miss at Taymour Grahne Projects (London, UK).

Shaun Ellison
Australian Open, 2021
Original Painting
12 x 9 inches
Watercolor on paper

Australian Open (2021) is an original painting completed in the very beginning of the artist’s tennis series. Drawn to the ocean-colored blue hue of the courts, the artist depicts a close point during a doubles match at the Australian Open. A player wearing dark clothing approaches the net, having just made contact with the ball, anticipating the volley coming quickly from his opponent’s racquet. The ball hovers in the air before making contact with the opponent’s racquet, capturing the curiosity of the viewer. While the player in the background is in a more advantageous position, having just hit the ball, the viewer is left to wonder who the point went to. A blue court with no visible sponsorships or crowd, the viewer is void of any distractions, concentrated solely on the game at play and on the player’s next move.

Of this series benefitting reforestation efforts, he notes, “Reforestation is a critical issue and I’m proud to play any role that I can in protecting the environment. I am excited to collaborate with ART FOR CHANGE on this front and knowing that the personal can continue to catalyze change.”

ART FOR CHANGE will plant ten trees for each print sold to support reforestation efforts. As in all series, artists will receive 50% of the net proceeds of print sales.

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