Bio

profile of Chris Shaw

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. Shaw’s 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.

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