George Shaw, artist profile
Anyway, I like this story and George Shaw’s paintings. See the full story at the link.
“George Shaw: 'Sometimes I look at my work and its conservatism shocks me'
George Shaw makes eerie paintings of the Coventry council estate where he grew up. On the eve of a Baltic retrospective, he explains why he prefers pop culture to fine art
The Observer, Sunday 13 February 2011
In one of his early poems, entitled "I Remember, I Remember", Philip Larkin described a train journey that took him unexpectedly through Coventry, the city in which he was born and where "my childhood was unspent". Larkin evokes that childhood in a litany of lost opportunities and chances not taken, but concludes: "It's not the place's fault… Nothing, like something, happens anywhere."
Those lines keep coming to mind as I leaf through scans of George Shaw's paintings of Coventry – or, to be precise, the two square miles of Coventry that constitute the Tile Hill housing estate on which he grew up – on the final leg of my train journey from London to Ilfracombe, where, for reasons that never become entirely clear, Shaw has now settled. Landscape artists once sought the sublime through the rendering of pastoral scenes, but Shaw, in common with many contemporary photographers, as well as English "kitchen sink" painters of an older generation, records the mundane, the quotidian and the overlooked. In doing so, he somehow renders the everyday mysterious.
Here is a drab lane of graffitied garages ending in an ominous-looking wood. Here is a redbrick wall rising up flat and imposing before a row of council houses. Here is a single tall tree standing solitary amid an expanse of scrubby parkland. All are alive with possibility, aglow with resonance and suggestion. These are paintings that prove Larkin's point that "nothing, like something, happens anywhere", while simultaneously suggesting that Tile Hill is one of those places where nothing happening is the norm.”
“SHAW START A life in brief
1966 Born in Coventry to George, who works for a car manufacturer, and Eilish; grows up in Tile Hill, the council estate that is the subject for all his artistic works.
1986 Begins a BA in fine art at Sheffield Polytechnic but becomes dissillusioned with the "back-to-basics" methodology and abandons art for several years, working instead as a teacher in Nottingham.
1996 Decides to return to art and study at London's Royal College. During this time that he takes a trip back to the estate where his parents still live, photographing his childhood landscape. (He has logged more than 10,000 shots to date.)
1998 Receives an MA, mounts solo exhibition, God Only Knows, at Hockney Gallery, London. He paints solely in his preferred medium, Humbrol enamel paints.
2003 Solo exhibition What I Did This Summer shows in Birmingham's Ikon gallery, Dundee Contemporary Arts and Lewlyn art gallery, Penzance and features in the London Tate collection.
2004 The Channel 4 series, The Art Show features an episode titled "The Late George Shaw" in which Shaw himself presents his own obituary explaining the subject of his art and confides his obsession with suburban landscapes
2010 Shaw is one of the select British artists chosen by the British Council to represent the country at the Shanghai Exposition, China in 'The Future Demands Your Participation'
2011 His exhibition 'The Sly and Unseen Day' is due to show 18 Feb-15 May at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
They say: "[he paints the back of the social club in Tile Hill with all the seriousness of Monet painting Rouen Cathedral." – novelist Gordon Burns
He says: "I paint the paintings of all the times and all the thoughts I lack the language to describe."”