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Jim Shaw in the Submarine Wharf. Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg
Jim Shaw was born in 1952, in Midland (Michigan). He gained his BA at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) in 1974 and his MA in 1978 at the California Institute of Arts (CalArts). He has lived and worked in Los Angeles since then.
Shaw was a member of the American proto-punk band Destroy all Monsters (together with artist Mike Kelley, singer Niagara and filmmaker Cary Loren). He is so technically gifted that he is able to capture all existing styles and forms effortlessly.
Since the beginning of his career Shaw has painted and drawn in a figurative, sometimes cartoon-like style. Pop art and Surrealism are two important influences on his work. Pop art not only because one of his themes is American consumer society, but also because he literally uses images from popular culture. For example, he has made an entire series on the covers of paperbacks, and old film sets are the canvases of his ‘backdrop’ paintings. Several of these works are shown in the Submarine Wharf.
Jim Shaw has been selected by curator Massimiliano Gioni to exhibit at the 55th Venice Biennale, where works by more than 150 artists from 37 are on display. The Venice Biennale opens on 1 June 2013. Jim Shaw has previously exhibited four times in the Netherlands, including in the show ‘I Rip You, You Rip Me (Honey We’re Going Down in History)’ at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in 1998.
In the rear hall of the wharf Martin builds a labyrinth of old theatre backdrops which he has transformed to a theaterical presentation within which his self-invented religion, Oism, comes to life. His story, which is supported by an exhibition of Oistic paintings, Oistic videos and a cartoon about the origins of Oism, gets people thinking about the creations that we usually refer to as ‘reality’.
Work by Jim Shaw is also on view in the exhibition 'The Archaic Revival' at the ZIC ZERP Gallery on the Van Oldenbarneveltstraat 120 A, Rotterdam. The exhibition runs from 7 June until 7 July.