Shag is a painter, designer and illustrator working in Southern California. His distinctive artistic style draws from commercial illustration from the past five decades, but the work is imbued with an attitude and sly sense of humour which is unmistakably of our time. Solo exhibitions of Shag’s work have been held in the United States, Europe, Japan, Australia and South America.
He changed his major to graphic design and achieved his first successes as an illustrator while in college, with work for the magazines Forbes, Time and Entertainment Weekly. Also, he designed record covers for bands in the area. When he designed a cover for his own band, the Swamp Zombies, he first used the pseudonym Shag, composed of the last two letters of his first name and the first two letters of his surname, so as not to make it look as if the cover artist was merely a band member, but that the band was successful enough to hire a graphic designer.
The paintings themselves celebrate consumerism and consumption on vividly coloured sharply rendered panels; the characters drink, smoke and eat in lavish, stylish surroundings. But Shag sees the visuals of his work as window-dressing or stage scenery. He’s more concerned with the themes and narratives in the paintings, and the meanings a viewer might find when he looks at a piece of Shag art.