Selected by Maui: Callen Schaub
Callen Schaub is an artist from Toronto well known for his abstract spin paintings. By using acrylic paint and different innovative tools all created by hand, he is able to create canvases that reflect incredible motion. Like he says himself, I splash paint on there but I’ve been doing it for nine years, so there’s actually a lot of control in the way that I apply the paint to the canvas.”
Growing up in a creative home, he went to an arts high school and later graduated from OCAD university, whereafter he ran his own gallery for four years until he started as a full time artist. His paintings stand out, and so does his vision. Reading and watching interviews with Callen Schaub really inspired us.
To come to the creation of the paintings, there goes an incredible amount of thought and trying in his innovative tools which he all designs himself. He started out with creating his spin machine from a bicycle. When he pedals the crank, the chain goes spin what would be the wheel, but instead it’s the canvas, and so the canvas spins around. But he also developed a swinging trough which he describes as “a painting trapeze that deploys over the top of the horizontal surface of the rotating canvas.”
He goes to explain “The image that is created is a relationship between the centrifugal motion of the canvas and the pendulum of the swing, and illustrated through colour.” And when it comes to his use of colors, Callen Schaub has his own personal idea too: “I enjoy how colors can be compared to a spectrum of emotion, inducing reactions and judgements. By creating a riot of color I hope to inspire wonderment and help allow people to be okay with feeling the spectrum of emotion, understanding that it is always good to feel.” As he states in an interview with divemadhousemag: Currently Callen is working on the “Love Series” which is his Phase III of the “Color Therapy Collection” (CTCPIII) and is an exploration of the color spectrum and its emotional effects, focused on mental wellness, positivity, and created with heart. And by reading the many comments of his instagram audience it becomes visible that his intention really has effect.
The images that Callen Schaub calls a relationship between the centrifugal motion of the canvas and the pendulum of the swing, is exactly what captures so beautifully the forces of nature that Callen respects so much. Although he chooses the colors and creates the tools for the paint to fall, he underlines that his art work is actually made by the forces of nature:
“I like to remove myself as the artist. That’s why I don’t sign the work, I don’t use a brush, there’s no visual signifiers of a human hand. I do that with the hope that people can appreciate my work in the same way that they might experience something in nature. Because in nature it’s void of the human touch. There’s a tranquil beauty that one may find in the sunset or the way that the striations are in rock formations, or the eddy swirls in nature. That’s what I’m hoping to gesture towards by removing myself – my ego – and just letting people have that experience.”
We are sure there will be many interesting and inspiring shows coming up in the future and we definitely recommend watching one of his live events on in instagram!
See more of Callen's work on