“The female nude marks both the internal limit of art and the external limit of obscenity… It is the internal structural link that holds art and obscenity and an entire system of meaning together. And whilst the female nude can behave well, it involves a risk and threatens to destabilize the very foundations of our sense of order.” - Kenneth Clark
The depiction of the female form has always held a duality that is not as simple as male nudity – it in turn holds the potential for artistic depiction but at the same time the erotic and physical element risks the subversion of the artistic purposes – like that of power and authority. The work is driven by challenging the way we perceive and observe the nude in the post-modern, situating the figure back into the exterior landscape and interior dwelling.
He describes his work as having elements of ‘Intertextuality’. Always looking in the past, present and even the future really influencing style and technique, commenting upon lots of different painting traditions. Shaw works in various art mediums but specifically works with oil paint and draws inspiration from Gerhard Richter, Phillippe Pasqua, Alex Kanevsky and J. M. W. Turner. His work uses a contemporary and abstract expressionist approach – highlighting the present, revealing a story and exploring the depths of atmosphere and composition.
“The artist should not only paint what he sees before him, but also what he sees in himself. If, however, he sees nothing within him, then he should also refrain from painting what he sees before him.” - Caspar David Friedrich