Does anyone else so joyfully perpetuate the dreamscape of 1960s lounge Modern, of kitty-cats and cocktails, of pop-culture and poolside like Shag (Josh Agle)?
Many of you are well versed in the brilliant colours, celebrity cameos and MCM buildings which populate the output of this Southern Cali artist extraordinaire. But what some of you may not have picked up is Shag’s credentials as an honorary Modernist Australian. For an American soaking in the Mid-Century superpower pop-dominance of his own nation – from music, to movies, cars, suburbia, cultural identities and architecture Shag has actually done more to feature the Australian echo of this era, than any other artist we can name.
His paintings have re-envisaged numerous local talismans – from The Skipping Girl, Platypuses and Brack’s ‘5pm’ on Collins Street and placed the architectural output of our local guns such as Boyd, Seidler, Clerehan and McIntyre front and centre in his work.
On this, his tenth visit to Australia and on the eve of his new exhibition proudly presented as always by Outre Gallery, ‘Shag, A Seat in The Kingdom’ The artist once more delivers on the local front. We’re not telling you how, but if you cannot recognise those chairs and the Angry Penguin on the wall, then you need to go back to art school daddy-o!
This Australian element was the topic of his recent interview for Outre which you can read in full. But to quote;
“From the first time I visited Australia, I was drawn to the visuals and the way of life. I saw the optimism and exuberance that I also found in my home state of California, but it was combined with a heavy dose of British temperance. Years before I ever visited Australia, I had found a book about the Melbournian mid-century furniture designer Grant Featherston at a flea market. The book had his furniture set in 1950s Australian interiors. Both the designers and architects of 1950s and ‘60s Australia were virtually unknown in the US and I felt like I had a secret source of inspiration I could refer to. When I got to actually see the furniture and buildings in person, it solidified my admiration for that era in Australia.”
Image courtesy of ’60s33′ Instagram
The Shag exhibition opening night shenanigans are this coming Friday 17th March in Melbourne (6-8pm) if you can squeeze in that is! With the exhibition running then from 17th March – 7th April.
Sydney fun will kick off opening night on Saturday 25th March (4-6pm) and the exhibition runs March 25th – April 2nd.
Just an aside, it is wonderful to view the work of any artist online or in print form over the years, but take it from us – you haven’t seen a Shag painting in comprehensive, senses overload of colour veracity until you see an original in real life. The bigger, the better. If you can get to either Outre during this time, we insist you do it!