Style and technique of the artist: Painting,
Within a practice that has encompassed drawing, video-making, performance and writing, Shaw is best known for his expansive body of painting. Working from photographs taken of and around his childhood home on the Tile Hill Estate, Coventry, Shaw’s landscapes are at once familiar and unnerving. Unassuming buildings, patches of woodland, pubs, his school, the park, and the arbitrary details of urban infrastructure deposited by town planners, are the cast of a series of paintings ongoing since the mid-1990s.
“I’m a child of the classic pop song and classic sitcom,” he says, chuckling. “I explore within a painterly tradition what usually gets explored though TV drama or music. I’ve thought about this a lot and, like most things in Britain, it’s to do with class. It’s like when I went down to London as a teenager to visit the National Gallery or the Tate: as much as I loved a lot of the work, I never felt it reflected anything of my life back to me. But, when I went into Woolworths and listened to the latest single by the Jam or the Specials, I heard my life reflected back loud and clear, and with all its tensions and uncertainties. There was always this opposition being put up: art was not about my life, whereas pop culture was. And, I didn’t like that opposition, still don’t, even though in a way I still work out of it.”
16 Works online
Works in the TATE collection