500 Years from Now, Artist Sean Go’s Paintings will be in Spaceships

When our progeny wants to see visually the societal sentiments in the 21st century and understand the motives behind the images, Go’s art captures this spirit incredibly well, from themes of capitalism becoming ubiquitous both consciously and subconsciously, to the creation of beauty standards and the monetization of beauty and the idea of it. These themes have been shot by artist Sean Go and they will likely become historical archives in space museums from which future generations use to flesh out the culture that we live in today. 

One of the main powers of art is to foster human connection. While art speaks to people differently, Go’s themes often share an inspiring collective narrative – which include the power of good over evil, the difficulty and courage in challenging the status quo, and that hard work triumphs in the end.  Even though Go is a painter, his main goal is to tell stories. This is not to say all of Go’s works have profound meaning, some of them are simple nostalgic recreations of bedtime stories and Aesop’s fables. Some of his paintings are adages in visual form, playful and witty just as a child would imagine. 

Go’s art training includes degrees at some of the most prestigious art schools in the world, where he graduated with a Master of Art from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City in 2022 and is a student at Parsons Paris (Master of Art in Fashion Studies). Previously, Go received a Master of Science from Columbia’s School of Architecture, Emory (MBA and Masters and Law) and at UC Berkeley (Triple degree in Business, Economics, and Geography). That’s a lot of degrees, which translates into many stories to share, and many connections to foster.

Photo captured by Lawrence Tapalla

In dour economic times rife with societal issues, there is an escapist allure in the re-imaginings of different universes, where possibilities exist outside what is physically possible in our universe, much like Dali’s surreal paintings. In our routine world of corporate jobs and neoliberal free market workaholics, sometimes what society needs is the levity and grandiosity of pieces such as Dali’s “Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening,” where landscapes, beauty, animals, and stunning colors come together with a splash.   

Go’s obsession with childlike wonder is related to this idea of untainted imaginations. Social structures pigeonhole many people into boxes that once in, they can never escape. While there may be practicality in such choices, regret may often seep into these decisions when mundane and the routine of daily life becomes unimaginative. 

In addition to childlike wonder, it is apparent that some of Go’s works are sexually charged. Works like “I’m the best course Eat Me Last” appropriates Barbara Kruger, while works like “Woman in Gold” appropriate Klimt’s piece into a contemporary time, with lingerie to contrast the conservative style in the past with our current bold approach as a society and in terms of sexualized advertising and commodities. Go’s witty works have been showed in Regency Brooklyn in 2022, Cat-Eye Creative Gallery in Atlanta in 2022 and 2023, MOCAF 2022 (Modern and Contemporary Art Festival), Jakarta Art Moments (2022 and 2023), at IndoSeni’s Wave to the moon exhibit at the Mall of Indonesia, at Arthouse presents AGOS (2023), at the Xavier Arts Festival 2023 and Secret Fresh Gallery in 2023.

I’m the Best Course, Eat Me Last, Mixed Media Painting

Artist Sean Go’s works splash with nostalgic and semiotic creativity new worlds where possibilities exist beyond our immediate line of sight. Go’s works, like Willy Wonka’s factory, often create rooms of joyous dreams, filled with characters of our childhoods sprinkled with items from stories that they are not originally from. Think Poohnisher, the Deadpoohl, and the Mousefather, where popular films and Disney classics are stirred together. Go’s works was widely received well at his Secret Fresh Solo show in 2023, attended by titans of the industry including DJ Big Boy Cheng, Derek, Flores, and Jaime Ponce De Leon of Leon Gallery.

Imagine Kruger-esque appropriations that are sexually charged yet disturbingly enchanting like “I hardly look like a Hero” and “Speak in Tongues.” Imagine larger than life symbols of beauty juxtaposed with animate flying candybars and chocolate fountains being watched by mountain-sized gummy bears in the distance, with doughnuts mouth-watering by a strawberry syrup lake. In essence, Go explores the human condition particularly the appeal of beauty, the distortion of it, and the decadence of humans that ironically is one of our greatest strengths and our Achilles heel at the same time.


I Hardly Look Like A Hero, Mixed Media Painting

An artist like Sean Go’s paints works that are a call to action – just as Go’s pieces are often action-packed, his artistic imaginings symbolize that caging yourself and limiting yourself will only hurt you in the long run. Go’s communication is largely similar to that of Michael Angelo’s famous saying when asked how he carved out a magnificent angel from a slab of marble – that it was the angel that “revealed itself to him.” We too, are those angels in marble – our potential and limits are often self-imposed and societally imposed, but we all have the power to show our wings and take flight, if our reasons for doing what we do are strong enough. 

Photo captured by Lawrence Tapalla

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