Friday, January 18, 2013

Statement from Thrift Store Art Exhibition by Jim Shaw (1990)

In the early days of computer animation in Los Angeles, the community was made up of people who were interested in both technology and the visual arts.  Among our community were people who were interested in making a career in the complicated and challenging world(s) of "fine art".  Such people included  Larry Cuba, Rebecca Allen, Jennifer Steinkamp, Lev Manovich, Jim Shaw, Victor Acevedo, and Michael Naimark to name just a few that come to mind, but there were others as well. 

One thing that distinguished all the people I know who are successful in that world, is their immense dedication and single minded effort. Each of the people mentioned above are notable in this way, they are some of the hardest working people I know.

I found in my papers the other day, a handout from an exhibition curated by Jim Shaw on the topic of Thrift Store Art. The year might have been 1990, and Jim was working with us at deGraf/Wahrman as an art director on a huge and completely incomprehensible Japanese motion platform based stereoscopic theme park attraction. He was working with us for the money, while he worked on his real career.

It was all typical Jim Shaw.

Unfortunately, now that the field has matured, if that is what it has done, the artists are off in their own complicated world and I never see them.

Here is his listing on

Google Books has "Thrift Store Paintings" by Jim Shaw published in 1990. has the same book, out of print, with the subtitle "Paintings found in thrift stores"

A listing on Google Books has "A Primer on Thrift Store Art" by Jim Shaw, ICA London, September 28 - 5 November 2000.

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