MULHERIN is pleased to present Christopher Sunset, new work by Shauna Born.

"My current project shifts focus from many idealized faces, to just one with a name (albeit an invented one). Christopher Sunset is a series of coloured pencil drawings based on an invented character. I've become obsessed with compiling images of the deliciously bearded French fashion model Patrick Petitjean. What interests me about these photographs is the false narrative of this man's life that can be assumed when viewing the images out of their intended context. Although the man Patrick is an actual breathing person (and not the Frankensteined Zeuxis composites I created for Galore), I have no interest in him as a real person (who he is, what he dreams, etc.), only in his representation and the ability that images possess to allow for the building of invented personal mythologies. The narrative arc of the series does not follow the person Patrick or his real experiences. Neither are they about the fashion model Patrick and his photo shoots, but an illustrated false narrative starring Christopher Sunset. Through this recontextualization of imagery I am questioning the authenticity of the image and a perceived narrative both gathered and displayed through representation.

These drawings were made with hatching techniques related to traditional etching and early renaissance tempera painters in mind. Layered in this way, pencil crayon allows for a muted colour palette that recalls faded snapshots or children's book illustrations that employed early four-colour printing methods, which further reinforce an emphasis on narrative story telling.

Many of us participate in an online world that encourages the creation of personal mythologies through digital photographs complied on social media sites. There is pressure to self-brand, to turn one's private life into a commodity. I am interested in exploring how invented identities can be presented and given authority due to the perceived authenticity of images and representation." 

- Shauna Born, 2014

Shauna Born is a Canadian artist whose practice uses painting and drawing to explore themes related to gender identity and popular beauty culture. Current research concerns have shifted to examine issues of desire, re-presentation and the simulated aesthetic experience.

Born received an undergraduate degree in fine arts at OCAD University in 2004, and graduated with an MFA in 2012 from the University of Waterloo. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally at Mullherin/Pollard Projects, New York, 31 Grand, Brooklyn, Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects, Toronto, James Baird Gallery, Newfoundland, Silas Marder Gallery, Bridgehampton, and Art Gallery of Calgary, Calgary. She is the recipient of several grants and awards, including two Ontario Art Council Emerging Artist grants. Reviews of her work have appeared in The Globe and Mail, NOW Magazine, and Toronto Life. Her work is held in both public and private collections, notably the Canada Council Art Bank and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas, USA. Shauna Born is represented by Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects, Toronto.

The artist would like acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $157 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.