Shaun Ellison, Arthur Ashe, 2023; 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).

Arthur Ashe is the newest painting in a recurring series of paintings of the late tennis great. Rendered in greens and greys the artist’s painterly predilections are highlighted in this Wimbledon scene. There is a stillness in the faceless line judge, dated by his blazer and the lawn chair rather than the white athleisure All England Club kits of today. The palette quiets Ashe’s approach to the net, freezing the rally in time and heightening the anticipation of the next shot. His gaze through the glasses is carved through the shadow with eyes set on the ball as the viewer waits for the next touch.

Shaun Ellison
Arthur Ashe, 2023
11 x 14 inches
Acrylic on mixed media paper

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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