Jim Shaw (American, b. 1952)
Two Images from the Series My Mirage: Narcissus and Echo
Plastic on mirror and asphalt on acoustical tile, respectively, 17 x 14 in. (43.2 x 35.5 cm), framed.
Condition: Surface grime.
Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist by the current owner in 1988.
Exhibitions: LA Hot and Cool: Pioneers, Bank of Boston Art Gallery/MIT List Visual Art Center, Cambridge, November 23, 1987-January 15, 1988.
N.B. Jim Shaw worked on the series My Mirage from 1986 through 1991, creating a group of 170 interconnected works of art in a variety of media, each of which tells part of the story of a character named Billy. My Mirage follows Billy, a white, middle-class male, from childhood onward as he navigates the 1960s and 1970s American counterculture. Shaw organized the works into chapters and unified the project by maintaining a standard size of 17 x 14 inches for each work. The result is a visual narrative, structured in the form of a coming-of-age novel; however, the pieces were exhibited about thirty at a time, before being sold individually. Though attempts have been made to reunite the series, all 170 works have never been included together in the same exhibition.
Narcissus borrows its imagery from the 1969 U.S. moon walks. For Echo, Shaw appropriated the iconic image of Kent State student Mary Ann Vecchio from John Filo's Pulitzer Prize-winning news photograph.
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