Since following the Iggy trail from Michigan to Hollywood in the late ’70s, artist Jim Shaw has managed to produce one of the most visually exciting, complexly conceptual and disturbingly entertaining pop-culture-based bodies of work to emerge from the world of fine art. His landmark curation of thrift store paintings and sprawling piecemeal examination of the life of a fictional teenager named Billy put him on the map. His subsequent work giving life to the objects and stories of his incredibly detailed dreams or elaborating the arcane theology of the “discovered” American religious movement of Oism have put him among the top ranks of the contemporary art world. One of the most notable aspects of Shaw’s ongoing engagement with comic art is the fact that it is utterly devoid of any hint of condescension — he has an encyclopedic knowledge of comic-art history and an unashamed love and respect for the artists who have worked in the medium before him.


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