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Fragility and Healing

I was born in Nashville, Tennessee and grew up in Louisville, Kentucky but didn’t decide to pursue art as a career until my senior year in high school. I obtained a BFA in Studio Art with a Concentration in Drawing and Painting from the University of North Texas and an MA in Fine Art from the University of East London where I concentrated on printmaking and drawing. I was honored to learn under 1991 Turner Prize winner Grenville Davey and show work in several galleries in the Docklands and Shoreditch. After moving back to the United States and making Houston, Texas my home for 5 years, I chose to work in the tattoo industry for three years. I left the tattoo industry after a struggle with trauma and took some time away from making art for a year and a half. With help from friends and family I decided to slowly move back into the art industry but this time in the digital landscape. I began painting digitally in 2018. I am currently back in school at Temple University Japan Campus in Tokyo, where I have been able to pursue other digital media such as animation, typography, and photography.

I have always been interested in how the human body and anatomy can be used in a semi abstract fashion to portray more conceptual ideas. Many of my early paintings used bone structure with surrealist influence to flesh out and cope with early trauma. A series of acrylic paintings in 2011 entitled “Panic Attack” used these elements to show a physical metaphor of the invisible effects of Panic Disorder.

In my early career, I focused on abstracted charcoal portraits which culminated in a large scale project in 2014 in London in 2014 entitled DEITIES. These six large scale charcoal drawings stood at 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide and were displayed at the University of East London. Relief printing and then etching allowed me to play with the idea of destruction and deterioration as I made sets of prints where each print was dipped in acid to corrode the plate further until the drawing was no longer visible. Both of these projects were the first attempts at tackling the pervasive issue of addiction in my family. They dealt with the clear deterioration of my mother, both in body and in mind, and her subsequent death in 2012 because of alcoholism.

After moving to Houston in 2014, I focused my efforts on becoming a tattoo artist, the influence of which can still be seen in my drawings today. However, during this time I began struggling with her own battle with addiction. Armed with trauma and a lack of coping skills I decided to leave the tattoo industry and take some time away from the art world.

With much help from loved ones, I found recovery and moved back towards making art with fervor. In 2018 I began painting digitally which is the basis of most of her work today. In 2019 I decided to commit myself to this digital media and go back to school at Temple University in Tokyo, Japan, where I currently reside. Although the Covid-19 pandemic caused many setbacks with this decision, I have found fulfillment with digital photography in Tokyo. This medium has allowed me to take me experiences with drawing, painting, modeling, makeup arts, digital painting, printmaking, and tattooing and mix each of those skills into my most recent pursuit in self portraiture.

I have always believed that art is a universal language. My hope has always been to speak directly to those who have already walked through hell with my own experiences, struggle, strength, and hope. We are not alone.

Sinclair Watkins

IG: @pan.imus

TikTok: @pan.imus

Twitter: @pani_mus


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