I first learned about Devon’s genius work through TikTok. Along with his friends JLee and Marcel Salapa, Devon successfully snuck his art into the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The whole thing was recorded and posted on TikTok, where it blew up with thousands of views and comments of people who loved the stunt. I think I watched that video at least a dozen times. First because I was entertained by the stunt, but then I quickly became fascinated with the piece they snuck in. As entertaining as it was to watch this video, it’s clear that Devon’s work exists well-beyond mainstream media.
Better known for his self-assigned art moniker, postitpals, Devon Segall’s work is unlike anything I had ever seen. His style brings to mind some of the greats like Paul Saul and Keith Haring. However, Devon also credits a duo of artistic siblings from LA as a major source of inspiration to forge his own style.
“These two artists are a brother duo based in Los Angeles, and I’m lucky enough to have a relationship with them. I see them as role model type figures in life and in the art sphere. They're really nice. Being able to watch their career blow up and see first hand that the dream is really possible is what opened the door for myself to actually try and go for it.”
Devon’s art is part of the movement who doesn’t seek realism or perfection. Instead, he says, “the sillier and more cartoony, the better.” This is a testament to his artistic integrity, which does not seek to impose a view on the audience. Instead, Devon encourages people to use their common judgment to create their own narratives about the meaning of his work. He is the epitome of the modern storyteller.
“I hope every year changes me as an artist, but this year in particular? This was the year I set out to be a full-time artist (back in January) so it’s definitely been the most definitive. Covid kind of spoiled those plans, so I guess this was the year I learnt how different the end of the year can be from what you thought it could be,” he said.
Not only has Devon carved his own path in his career. He uses his talent and platform to advocate for social movements and causes that are important to him. Earlier this year, he released a collection of unique t-shirts that included his designs, and donated all the profits to the Black Artist Fund. And in the weeks leading up to the 2020 Presidential Election, Devon released another collection of handmade t-shirts encouraging people to exercise their right to vote. Behind every single of his pieces, there is purpose.
In the weeks leading to this issue, I found myself reflecting on the meaning of the word trailblazer. For some, it means to be bold and unapologetic. For others, it can bring to mind honesty, creativity, and authenticity. The definition will be different from everyone and that’s okay. This concept is ever-changing; always evolving. That’s why Devon Segall is the true definition of a trailblazer. He and his art adapt to the rough and unexpected landscape of life, and evolve through their unique way to tell stories. I’m thrilled to witness Devon’s work continue to stand out for its originality, always putting out art that becomes his biggest stuff yet.
“My first art show has been the biggest moment of my life yet. That’s when everything changed. With no experience putting on a show, my pals and I created one of the coolest nights in Los Angeles art history. And from that, my future was born,” said Devon on his biggest moment yet. “Since then, I’ve been taking it day by day down this road, we’ll see where it ends.”
This story appears on the December 20 issue of Mud, "Lisztomania." You can purchase a digital and print copy here.