We're pleased to see Alice Shaw's "Golden State" getting the praise it deserves! Below are a couple of articles that have featured the show recently:
Alice Shaw finds gold in California culture
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
These days Alice Shaw’s old Mission neighborhood is awash with the signs of S.F.’s latest gold rush: tech buses, Teslas and carousing brogrammers.
So the subject of all that glitters feels like a natural one for the California-bred conceptual artist. At “Golden State” at Gallery 16, she spins further from photography, which she has taught at San Francisco Art Institute, and toward readymades, textiles and tweaked found objects.
In her irreverent sight lines are drivers of California culture like commodities, celebrity, religion and that precious urban asset — parking. They play out in the form of an “Unemployment Debit Card for Out of Work Artist From the Ansel Adams School of Photography” and a gold-leaf-embellished “Jesus and His Disciples,” depicting uniformly begowned “icons” and an alt-Christ Jared Leto.
Alice Shaw Gallery 16, San Francisco, California Recommendation by Cherie Louise Turner
Continuing through September 4, 2015
Conceptual artist and photographer Alice Shaw deploys her abundant talent and wit to seamlessly blend humor and serious insight in this newest body of work, which comments on much of what the golden state of California is known for: the Gold Rush, fame and celebrity, enormous wealth (as well as economic disparity), even agriculture. For many of the works, Shaw alters found images, many of celebrities, and enhances them by coloring in the background or otherwise decorating them with gold or silver leaf. “Pot of Gold–fame (LA)” features a two-page fashion magazine spread with the headline “Red Carpet Rainbow.” Photos of female celebrities, each in a monochrome dress, are arranged such that, across the page, the colors form a rainbow. Shaw puts a gold halo over each woman’s head, a clear reference to saintly pre-Renaissance paintings. One can also draw out the association between rainbows and the proverbial pot of gold, which is also referenced in “Pot of Gold–Riches (SF).” This piece shows a hand-drawn rainbow dropping down to the lower right corner on a postcard picture of an actual rainbow arcing over the Golden Gate Bridge. Acidly reflecting on celebrity’s place in our culture, Shaw trots out people famous as much for their bad behavior as for anything legitimately earned. A sheet of (fabricated) stamps are appropriately called “Forever Stamps (Paris Hilton, Lance Armstrong, Lindsay Lohan, Barry Bonds, Britney Spears, Tiger Woods, Miley Cyrus, Charlie Sheen).” The title speaks for itself.
Touching on wholly different sector of wealth in the state, “Money Tree” features the elementary school cliché of an avocado seedling sprouting in a mason jar, the pit suspended above the water with toothpicks. The pit here is painted gold. Called to mind in an instant is the key role of agriculture in California’s economy and the ongoing drought. Taking a look at the less glamorous side of California living is “Chariot,” a picture of a beat-up gold sedan parked curbside in front of a Mexican restaurant, a taco truck parked behind it. Our Latino population provides a great deal of the cheap labor for many of the thankless, grueling jobs in the state, a key component behind California’s wealth. For many among these populations, life is a little less shiny.