A Memphis native and Nashville artist, Donahue began airbrushing at the age of 12. His work is anchored in grafitti traditions while his MFA and extensive fine art experience drive him to elevate the form. This is his first solo show on Hagan Street.
Nashville-based Donahue built a practice grounded in street art, pop art and Arte Povera. A play on “nolook
pass,” No Look Past, a play on a no-look pass in basketball, features Donahue’s Basketball Blooms,
mandala-like sculptures made from basketballs that carry a history, and airbrushed canvases built on playful
contradictions: Donahue is a trained fine artist with a dedication to street aesthetics. Well-known for his public
murals throughout Tennessee, Donahue centers his practice on the reinvigoration of found objects.
“No Look Past is an exhibition is comprised of two separate bodies of work that are slightly differentiated
by processes,” says Donahue. “In one body of work, I am deconstructing and reassembling “found” and
“searched” for objects such as basketballs and footballs without applying paint. In the other, I am customizing
“found” and “searched for” objects with text, airbrushed acrylic, and spray paint. There are objects such
as heavily starched, airbrushed jeans and stuttering street signs.”
Donahue was born in Memphis and lives and works in Nashville. He received an MFA from the University of
Tennessee and his BFA from Tennessee State University. Before receiving his MFA, Donahue spent a year
at the Lorenzo De Medici School of the Arts in Florence, Italy. He has had recent solo exhibitions in Nashville
at Vanderbilt University, Oz Arts, and Seed Space; Wrather West Kentucky Museum, KY; and Athica
Institute for Contemporary Art, Athens, GA; and numerous group exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad. He
has received numerous awards, honors, grants, and residencies, and his work is in the collections of nex-
Air, Memphis; Tennessee State University, Nashville; The University of Tennessee Knoxville, Ewing Gallery,
Knoxville, TN; and Toyota of Franklin, TN.