In the first exhibition from the pro skater, musician and artist, Pablo transports us into his childhood home for a multimedia viewing experience
Sean Pablo’s A Season in Hell, finds stillness in friendship, family, and religious iconography—a culmination of the photographer’s continued practice in using his work to process a fast-paced life. Raised in the Los Angeles neighborhood Echo Park, he devoted most of his time to skating and was quickly picked up for sponsorship by brands like Supreme, Converse, and Fucking Awesome, which soon engrossed his life to the point of dropping out of high school to be homeschooled by his dad. In his first exhibition, Pablo’s audience is offered an intimate look with an immersive experience that transports them into his home through wall drawings and phrases like, “Heaven is Always Here and Now.” Domestic objects serve as vessels for photographic prints, illuminated for viewing throughout the gallery.
As a multimedia artist, skater, and musician, Pablo opens the door to 17 Allen Street as a proxy for the beautiful and fleeting moments he seeks to capture. You can find this promise to archive memory in A Season in Hell, the artist’s brand PARADISE.NYC, and his approach to everyday living. Following the show’s opening, Pablo joins Document to expand on the making of the exhibition and his process behind it.
Syd Walker: For A Season in Hell, you transformed the gallery into a type of immersive experience. Did you start your process knowing what you wanted the space to look and feel like, or did the final set up come more organically?
Sean Pablo: It kinda came together last minute. It was difficult to curate a space in that way, I had never done it before. The physical aspect of an art show always freaked me out.
Syd: Elements of your show included wall writings and prints on everyday domestic objects. Why did you lean into this? Were they modeled off of specific items in your life or a space you’ve been in before?
Sean: At first the entire gallery was tagged to pieces, and then we made it just in the back room. My friend Zev wrote [on the walls] while he was on mushrooms.
Syd: Do you feel like your childhood has a strong voice in the work you’re putting out now?
Sean: I was immersed in such a cool culture growing up in Echo Park, I like to think about all the crazy shit that went on there.
Syd: You take a lot of photos of your friends. Is this because those moments are easily accessible due to time spent together, or are they who you want to document most?
Sean: I’m not sure, when I see something beautiful happening in front of my eyes I want to capture it.
Syd: Do you find there is a clear intersection between your art practice, music, and skating?
Sean: It’s all the same to me.
Syd: Tell me about PARADISE.NYC. Why did you start it and where do you see it heading?
Sean: Because I was a highschool dropout and had too much free time on my hands.
Syd: Do you have a dream project you want to accomplish with the brand?
Sean: I’m already living it.
Syd: Religious iconography seems to be a theme in both PARADISE.NYC and A Season in Hell. At what point did you start feeling inclined towards these types of symbols/ideas?
Sean: I’m not sure when I took notice of it, I think growing up in LA theres a lot of that stuff around and the cholo culture there has heavily religious iconography which I always liked.
Syd: It’s definitely a labor of love to produce a solo exhibition. What kept you committed to seeing it through?
Sean: I just knew it wouldn’t be that hard once it was over.
Syd: Do you see yourself doing it again?
Syd: You’ve been under the public eye for a long time. Do you feel influenced by that at all?
Sean: No, I don’t really think about it.
Syd: Your life also seems to move at a rapid pace with all of the interests you pursue. Would you have it any other way?
Sean: I like to always be working on something.
Syd: Do you ever feel overwhelmed by possibility? If so, how do you keep progressing?
Sean: Don’t get hung up and just keep going.
A Season in Hell is on display at CC Projects from June 29 to July 17.