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Artist Research - Jim Shaw / Gemma Anderson

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Today, I conducted further research around two contemporary artists that I believe relate to my project and can inspire me with new development ideas. I chose the American prolific contemporary artist Jim Shaw and English etcher Gemma Anderson.
JIM SHAW
I originally saw Jim Shaw's non-art collection at the Magnificent Obsessions exhibit at the Barbican Centre and upon further inspection of his work, I have discovered some interesting pieces of work which I believe relate to Inside Out.

Shaw’s work is informed by a relentless inquiry into the imagery of popular culture, the vernacular, art history, politics, religion and myth, as well as his own unconscious mind. An obsessive cultural cataloguer, he draws from these disparate sources to make work in distinct series that are intensively researched and often take years to complete. His first major project, My Mirage 1986-91, charted the changing psyche of his alter-ego Billy from adolescence in middle America, to his discovery of sex and drugs then to his subsequent fall and rebirth through organised religion.
A selection of Shaw's work

From the works I have discovered, Shaw's work looks into the idea of playing with people's state of minds; their experiences and recreated them by rearranging the logic of what should be inside and what shouldn't. One example is the piece titled "Cake (Jim)", a oil on digital ink jet painting, which portrays a shirtless male figure (Jim) in front of a heavy-brush stroke painting featuring a white box. The colourful background is supposed to present the creativity of Jim while the box shows the space he needs for fresh ideas (i.e. room to create). This projects Jim's interior mind-state out onto him and suggest how it influences him on the outside.


GEMMA ANDERSON
I came across Anderson's work from the book titled The Artists of Science by Barbara Daily which documents particular contemporary artists and how their work relates to science in one way or another.
A few of the 16 etchings in the series

The collection of Anderson's work which I came across is a series of 16 etchings titled The Art of Psychiatry which were created using Japanese inks. The pieces are intricate and delicate etchings of psychiatrists and patients from psychiatric hospitals in South London. The prints were not labelled, meaning that psychiatrists were indistinguishable from their patients, highlighting the universality of mental ill-health. She interviewed each person and the portraits incorporated representations of objects that carried meanings for the subject, together with medicinal herbs used in psychiatric medications.

Art-wise, the etchings form the subjects out of objects relating to them from the interviews Anderson conducted on them, an example being one called "Connor" in which the subject's lungs can be view though his torso while being surrounded by other objects relating to him.

In retrospect, from the artists here, I believe the inspiration from Anderson's work will help me in my developments in the lead-up to my final piece. I now have a new idea involing x-rays thanks to the piece I formerly mentioned. 

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