Chris Shaw’s career as an artist began in the early 1980′s creating flyers for punk bands in Boston. By the mid 80′s he moved to California where he attended California College of Arts and Crafts, majoring in both Printmaking & Drawing. Alongside classical print techniques, Chris also learned the art of screenprinting from Malaquias Montoya. Shaw was soon hard at work creating a multitude of political posters aimed against the Reagan / Bush administrations, as well as a smattering of rock posters for local bands.
Shaw’s art first came into the public eye in the form of immense black-light murals painted in many of San Francisco’s nightclubs. By the early 90′s he was working with Bill Graham Presents in San Francisco, creating rock posters, and stagesets for many of the 90′s biggest bands: Kiss, Pearl Jam, Cypress Hill, Hole, Foo Fighters, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, the Allman Bros., the Tibetan Freedom Concerts, the Horde Tours, and Lollapalooza amongst others.
By 2000, as large-format digital printing became a cost-efficient alternative to hand-painted stage and concert art, Shaw made the leap and began creating posters and fine-art paintings full time. He toured Europe extensively for several years showing posters and paintings in numerous venues, from museums and galleries, to nightclubs and bars.
To date, Shaw has created thousands of rock posters and hundreds of paintings. His work is collected by both rock poster fans as well as art collectors. Shaw’s work has been featured in several books, notably, The Art Of Modern Rock. Shaw’s artwork has also been published in a numerous newspapers and magazines both domestically and abroad. German Rolling Stone magazine named Chris Shaw “Artist of the Year” in 2001. Shaw’s posters were also featured in the 2009 documentary film “American Artifact“.
Alongside painting and his own poster designs, for the last several years Shaw has also art directed the band Moonalice. Shaw has created a series of over 500 posters for the band and regularly works with many of the best poster artists from the 60′s as well as today’s top artists. Four books of of Shaw’s work with Moonalice have been produced, The Moonalice Legend, Volumes I – IV.
Shaw’s imagery continues to provoke the viewer with intense color and subject matter. Shaws artwork clearly exists in the modern world yet his use of geometry and iconographic formulas reference distinct classical influences. Often precariously balancing pop-culture or political themes with deeply symbolic imagery, Shaw creates unique and stunning artwork that stands apart in todays image-cluttered world. Shaw has had 2 shows his paintings in the SF/Bay Area with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Artist’s Gallery (2011 & 2013), as well as appearing at Varnish Fine Art (2012).
Shaw is married to artist Alexandra Fischer and currently paints and designs posters from his studio in West Oakland, California where he’s been happily entrenched for over 20 years.