You think you own your stuff but your stuff owns you
Based in Los Angeles, among Jim Shaw’s favourite haunts are the city's numerous flea markets and thrift stores. For Shaw, their presentations represent 'the whole history of America’ and reveal its waste, consumption, tastes and histories. Much like his work, they bring a perverse order to the weirdness and wonder of the country's detritus. ‘We’re very good at producing crap,’ he says. ‘We started with the Shakers who produced exquisite furniture of a simple form and we’ve gotten to the point where we can produce things like The Avengers that are full of non-meaning and meaning at the same time.’ The flea markets feed Shaw’s collage mentality, providing an inexhaustible source of objects and topics of research that flood his own work with both personal and societal streams of consciousness.
Shaw has spent many years finding and collecting paintings by anonymous artists at these markets. His collection of Thrift Store Paintings, presented here alongside found photographs, drawings and a theatre backdrop, now numbers around 100 works. The paintings have not been modified in anyway, and are instead presented as an archive of found aesthetics arranged and curated by Shaw.