Shaka Gaston

Lives and works in Los Angeles.

Shaka Gaston has been part of the Art Center Program since 2009 and has made an impression in the studios not only for his rough and vibrant aesthetic, but also for his vivid and energetic personality. Working primarily in mixed media, Gaston’s work is both messy and orderly, vacillating between abstraction and stark portraiture. The subjects of his portraits are often depicted as having intense gazes and are rendered in short and sharp lines; they appear ghostly and otherworldly figures that compel viewers to confront a kind of intensity that is often so rare in social settings. Although Gaston’s work can be viewed as a proposition towards engaging with the uncomfortable and unfamiliar, the artist himself is known for his lighthearted attitude inside and outside of the studio. He loves to tell jokes, spends hours a day practicing choreography from iconic Michael Jackson performances, and loves to talk about food - his favorite in particular: corn dogs.