Haven't I seen you somewhere?
California artist Jim Shaw plays with familiar images from mass culture, from cigarette-ad models frolicking in the waves to superhero chunks splayed on the floor.
By ROBIN EISGRAU
California-based artist Jim Shaw creates artwork that morphs a pop
sensibility with uneasiness, reulting in images that are both arresting and
disquieting. Reportedly all inspired by dreams he's had, the pieces in
Shaw's current exhibit at Metro Pictures are compelling in their melding of
the familiar with the disturbing. His art plays with the viewer's pool of
visual references you know you've seen some of the clues he's giving you
somewhere before, but now those images are tweaked.
In the first large room
near the entrance of the gallery a sculptured head, arm and leg of the
superhero The Flash lie dismembered on the floor. On the wall, heads of men
drawn in pencil, corporate portrait style, melt into an orgiastic tableaux.
Near them, two giant plaster cartoon-style moneybags sit filled with fake
gold coins. On the opposite wall are six anguished small portraits of the
artist on colored backgrounds.
|Paintings, sculpture, installation by: Jim Shaw.|
519 West 24th St.
Through April 21, 2001|
In the next room, an uncomfortable-looking
Santa Claus sits in a tire swing with dried-up ivy coming out of his lap.
Against the facing wall, a huge gray melting Buddha figure sits, topped with
a flat picture of a red-haired, yellow-toothed young man's face. In the next
room are some of Shaw's works that take their cues from advertising. Dozens
of pencil-drawn men borrowed from menswear ads from the late '60s and early '70s
are collected on a sheet of paper. On a surface that looks like venetian
blinds, a couple frolicks in the surf with big, mysterious smiles (echoing
those creepy Newport "Alive With Pleasure" ads) and on another, a blonde,
tanned, white-bikinied woman looks troubled by the waves lapping at her.
On another part of the wall are paintings of two vampire basketball players,
one from Serbia and one from Croatia, standing in front of green backgrounds
featuring strange vaginal forms. On the next wall is another portrait of
Shaw; this one has no eyes or mouth, like a mask, and floats in a plastic
box. One is almost tempted to break open the box and slip it on in an
attempt to get inside the mind of this truly unique artist.|
|MARCH 28, 2001|
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