Jim Shaw inside out

The work of one of the arguably most versatile contemporary American artists Jim Shaw could be seen at the BALTIC in Gateshead until February this year. If you missed this opportunity then don’t worry – artplayer is delighted to host two brilliant videos which, when put together, give an excellent overview of both the artist and the exhibition.

Jim Shaw: The Rinse Cycle on BALTIC’s channel should be your first point of call as it uncovers some of the processes behind how the artworks came into being. Jim Shaw talks about his college years, how he wanted to be both a scientist and an artist, how he worked in Hollywood, and that doing just one thing is never enough for him. The latter shines through Shaw’s work which consists of so many components that each work looks like hundreds combined. Splashes of colour together with black-and white graphics, detailed faces and surreal landscapes – the video brings us a great selection of paintings, sculptures and even film and is a real treat as these works are related to periods of Shaw’s life and places he has lived in.


Now, to the actual exhibition at the BALTIC Culture Street sent a group of young people who take the viewer through the galleries guided by Vicky Sturrs who recalls some of the things discussed in the first video and relates them to the actual exhibition pieces. Most fascinating must be the fact that Shaw has created his own religion and that his dream worlds are so vivid and detailed on canvas unlike the abstract qualities we usually associate dreams with that it is almost spooky. It is nearly impossible not to admire Shaw, enjoy!


Text by Kati Jagel


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