Shaw’s paintings reveal a fascination for the notion of “Englishness”. The mythologies of English popular culture – his drawings of sadly famous figures such as Peter Sutcliff or the old charm magazines spread around his studio – inform his work. In broader terms his work also depicts aspect of modern Europe.
The artist’s works are based on photographs of working-class suburbs, often taken by the artist himself, a member of his family, or published in local magazines. Shaw covers his images of city halls, rows of garages, damaged parks or rundown playgrounds, with Humbrol enamel on wood, a meticulous process that produces seductive, shiny and detailed images. The images convey an assumed nostalgia and a heavy- both irresistible and disturbing- atmosphere. At times his work pays tribute to Kitchen Sink cinema – British social Realism pf the 1950s and 1960s – in a contemporary and depoliticized version.
This edition created by George Shaw for his solo exhibition at the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève (his first show outside the UK) stand as unique in the production of the artist nominated for the Turner Prize in 2011. The photograph has a mysterious quality and seems to evoke a fleeting moment.