Shaw is celebrated for the outlandish narratives and sharp wit with which he brings his dystopian, albeit eerily familiar, universe to life. His provocative tableaux, whether sinister, comedic, or somewhere in between, are pieced together from the artist’s own imagination and his prolific collection of magazine and newspaper cut outs, posters and prints, comic books and gimmicky advertisements, which he began collecting during his teenage years in Michigan in the 1960s.

Shaw’s practice has always been inherently ‘American’, imbued with national references and critiques, some contemporary, others historic and now deeply embedded into American culture. In these latest works – painted over found theatrical backdrops, with some featuring subtle sculptural elements – produced during a time of constantly evolving political, social and economic polarity, Shaw plays on oppositions: alluding to past events in service of urgent commentary on our fraught present and blending fiction with reality in order to highlight the fantastic state of contemporary American life.