About the Artist

About the Artist

Shawn Michael Warren is a fine artist whose work explores historic events and figures through a unique and striking narrative form.  Warren’s work is truth-seeking; his murals and paintings tell stories which balance historical accuracy and tactful research with stark and often unsettling realism.

A native of Chicago, Warren had no formal training in the arts until he attended college at the American Academy of Art, where his accelerated progress and notable work earned him a spot in the Intensive Drawing Program at the Florence Academy of Art.  During this time, Warren developed his distinctive style by studying the work of master Renaissance painters and their approaches to narrative painting and portraiture. This influence is apparent in Warren’s work, as is his reverence for the societal roles that these masters held as artists.  

For Shawn Michael Warren, art is a practice in documentation and diplomacy, it is a service to community and a necessary medium for maintaining and adding complexity to the institutional memory of humankind.  His work conveys difficult emotions like discomfort, agony, and anonymity, while providing a humanistic lens for reflection and education.  Warren’s intent is to develop an intimate connection between his work and its viewers, and to inspire conversations  about identity, history, division, and unity. 

Warren’s past works have featured icons such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Dr. Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey, and Marshall Major Taylor among others, as well as reflecting narrative works dealing with the Great Migration, the tragic history of the Greenwood Community in early 1920s Tulsa, Oklahoma, the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.  These works and others have appeared throughout the United States at venues including The Laguna Art Museum, Carnegie Center for Art & History, Indiana University (South Bend), and 21cMuseum.