LAYER CAKE: NYC’S “Cleanup” Artist is Adding His Own Layer to the City

As his street name would suggest, Layer Cake is a mixed medium artist that is most commonly known for his signature stencil style that combines a unique love of fine art and graffiti with deep textures and layers upon layers of images that are sure to catch anyone’s eye.


Also known as Sean Sullivan, Layer Cake is New York born and raised, and also includes a lot of pop culture icons in his work before completing the piece with his trademark stencil art.

Layer Cake claims inspiration from fellow street artists Mr. Brainwash and Banksy, appreciating their authenticity and traditional street art style combined with mixed medium and modern influence. Sullivan was previously involved in the fashion design and music industries, and although he has been painting professionally for only a couple of short years, he has successfully taken the world by storm with international installations and an Instagram page that nearly blew up the Internet.

LAYER CAKE: The Man Behind the Stencils

Sullivan tells the media that his childhood dreams weren’t like those of other children. While most looked up to movie stars or athletes, Layer Cake fantasized about painting tunnels, and about joining the ranks of the famous street artists that created the many layers of beauty in and around New York City that inspired him growing up.


According to Sean, “I didn’t live a typical life in NYC. I’ve had the best of both worlds. I’ve been shot, ran over by cabbies, had the Feds investigate me, had dinners with mayors, been to private schools with the rich and famous, and public school with the forgotten. I’ve wandered the streets of the grimmest parts and broke bread on park avenue. I’m a real New Yorker whose family has been here 4 generations. I’ve painted and learned from masters but everything now comes from experience, travels, and battles of being from the greatest city in the world.”

With a backstory like that, it’s no wonder that this true New Yorker is making such a statement with his unique stenciling style, both throughout the City and around the world.


Layer Cake's Graffiti Mural

The Art: Layers of Style Pay Homage to the Melting Pot of New York City Life

Layer Cake often uses Popeye and the Pink Panther in his art, along with other pop culture classics. He is also known for vintage icons and pinup-style images, along with full collages that include vintage comic pages and trademark stencil art to finish them off.

Much of his work is done in a collage style, offering deep textures and unique combinations of ideas turned into a single piece of art, somehow cohesively while still offering a uniquely dynamic piece. He attributes his chosen style to his love of the way that everything seems to be on top of each other in New York City, always offering a hodge-podge of creativity and inspiration no matter where you look.


Layer Cake's Pink Panther Art

From his deep symbolism and love of New York City to his philanthropy and commitment to helping the art community in the city and around the world, Layer Cake is making a big impression among street artists. At a time when street art is finally being recognized as a respectable genre of its own, his popularity is generating plenty of income for the works that he sells throughout the galleries in the world.

Giving Back with Art

Recently, Layer Cake was involved in a project in Long Island, which involved turning a Glen Cove mansion that measured over 9,000 square feet into a modern shrine to graffiti and street art installations. The project was a collaboration of more than 120 artists to create a unique medley of genres and artistic styles that is referred to by curator Joe LaPadula as a “graffiti aficionado’s dream.”

Known as the First City Project, this transformation has been attracting attention from both local residents and those across the state. Even fans of Sullivan from around the world are trying to find their way to Long Island to see the installation in person, and a virtual tour is available for those who can’t make it in person.

layer cake glen cove graffiti mansion

Layer Cake's Graffiti Art in the Glen Cove Mansion

From the street to Sotheby’s and beyond, Sean Sullivan has done far more than create a life where he can live his dream as a New York City street artist. He's helping change the way that the world sees graffiti and street art, one installation and piece of artwork at a time. Anyone who enjoys street art and is looking for a good investment in modern artwork can guarantee a great choice when they select a piece from this modern graffiti genius that is putting his own spin on the layers of street art in New York City and around the world.

Layer Cake x Tango Hotel Graffiti Artwork

Layer Cake Artwork

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