Sean Costello

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Wee Kirk O' the Heather-Glendale CA, 2013 11x14 ©
Holy Transfiguration Russian Orthodox Church, 2011 ©
St Augustine Catholic Church, 2011 ©
St James Catholic Church, 2010 ©
St Monica Catholic Church, 2010 ©
Los Angeles, 2009 ©
Palm Springs , 2007 ©
Cathedral of St Sophia Greek Orthodox Church, 2012 ©
Quick Facts
The Ohio State University
portraits, architecture, churches, black and white photography, photography, digital, photo



Sean Costello

 As a child, Sean’s first experience of self-awareness, in relation to religious architecture, was as a student at St. Martin’s Elementary School and Church, in Cincinnati, Ohio. He felt a sense of wonder, not from the liturgy, the music or the scriptures, but from the church’s massive walls, stained glass windows, high pillars and lofty bell towers. As he became more aware of himself and the world around him, architecture’s order and symmetry became a source of serenity, clarity and reassurance in the midst of the chaos of life.


Sean’s work explores the link between sacred architecture and human emotion. Whether you believe in a higher power or not, sacred architecture speaks a universal language that stirs emotional experience through the senses. The idealized qualities of a sacred structure are designed to evoke the best ideals in the viewer. Utilized by a master architect, the shapes and patterns, mass and height, space, light, shadow and repetition of forms all convey a sense of balance, order, harmony, guidance, protection and strength. These elements encourage positive emotions and call to mind our essential desire to discover who we are as people. In danger of being corrupted by our passions and led astray by various aspects of society, we require places where we can find balance between the reason and emotions within us.

 To highlight the design of each church, Sean makes high-contrast black and white photographs against a dark sky. The low angles serve to emphasize a sense of awe in the viewer at the monumental elements of the structure. His goal is not to coerce people into a newfound faith, but to celebrate the genius of combining a near perfect set of physical and aesthetic architectural elements, to create a beautiful structure that reflects individual beliefs and ideals.



Create-Fixate Los Angeles 2006

Huarte Gallery Solo Show Los Angeles 2007

Gallery 1638 Los Angeles 2008

Create-Fixate Los Angeles 2009

FUSE Los Angeles 2009

Month of Photography Los Angeles Group Show 2010

The R and R Gallery "Bill Murray" Group Show Los Angeles 2010

Cafe Buna "Inspiration" Group Show Los Angeles 2010

Smashbox Face/Off Los Angeles Winner-Assistants Choice Award 2011

Photo LA Group Show 2012 

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