Jim Shaw – My Mirage
216 pages, 20 x 26 cm, softcover (English)
"My Mirage" (1986-1991) is the first major body of work by Jim Shaw (*1952), an artist from Los Angeles who started exhibiting in the late 1970s. Composed of nearly 170 pieces—each one drawn, silk-screened, photographed, sculpted, filmed or painted in a different style—"My Mirage" recounts the wandering of Billy, a white, middle-class American sucked into the whirlwind of the 1960s and 1970s. His is a story of unceasing failure. After an anxious childhood, Billy later withdraws from the guilt-wracked spasms of adolescence in order to lose himself in a psychedelic utopia, which soon becomes a nightmare. In the depth of psychotic hallucinations, he follows a woman who he worships into a pagan sect, before finally returning to the religion of his youth, "reborn" as a fundamentalist Christian. Each piece appropriates an image taken from an extremely broad iconographic field ranging from children's book to contemporary art and including comics, religious literature, and psychedelic posters.