Shag is at it again… this time he’s living it up in the Big Apple. Fresh from his recent Baby Tattooville retreat where AM met him, JoSH AGle (aka: SHAG) has a hip new show at Jonathan Levine. (Nov 22nd – Dec 20th) This time, Shag is giving us an official “peep” at the elegant beauties and chic lifestyles for the aptly named theme: Voyeur. This is sort of an introspective show for Shag, for he was once a Voyeur; which led the way for the development of his unique “MOD” style. Shag’s celebrated “MOD” style provides a “voyeuristic” glimpse of world where the Playboy mansion, tropical “Tiki” getaways, and hedonistic retreats morph into one chic painting after another.
“Being an artist gives me license to be a voyeur… When I was young and poor, I used to walk around my neighborhood almost every evening, just after dark. Many people had not yet closed their drapes or blinds, and I was able to look into their homes. I saw interiors through large picture windows: their good taste and bad, their family dynamic, what they were watching on television or eating for dinner, and what they felt comfortable wearing (or not wearing) at home. This was better than TV!” -Shag
To further enhance the show, Jonathan Levine pulled out “the Wallpaper”… having occurred in only three previous installations: Shepard Fairey, Lori Earley, and Adam Wallacavage. Levine and Shag designed a “flocked-velvet” wallpaper to transform the gallery and set the mood for all you little “Modsters” attending the show.
Shag was kind enough to answer a few questions after the jump…
Arrested Motion (AM): It’s been two years since your last solo at NYC/Jonathan Levine. How does this show Voyeur differ from your past Levine show Donna con Bambino? Are you excited to return and show in the big apple?
Shag (SG): I love showing in New York – it is the art capital of the world, and being able to show at a gallery in Chelsea next to all the “important” artists in “important” galleries is a big ego-stroke. This show is a little darker than my last New York show. Peeping Toms and avid viewers of other people’s lives have always been part of my art, but in this series of paintings I’ve tried to refine and expand upon that theme. People are really curious about other people’s lives, and, in a sense, the viewer of these paintings becomes yet another voyeur.
AM: Both LA and New York are booming extravagant metropolises. So we were wondering how do you view New York City when compared to your home in Los Angeles?
SG: I love New York, and if I were single, I’d probably live there. But since I have a family, the quintessential “California Lifestyle” seems like it’s a better fit. I’ve achieved my own little American Dream here, in my modernist house with walls of glass looking at a wonderful view just beyond the swimming pool… It’s just like something out of one of my paintings, actually.
AM: Stars such as Ben Stiller, Whoopi Goldberg, and Seth Green collect your art work. Just wondering if you care to share any new stars that have recently been influenced by Shag’s touch? Do you often hang with your clients?
SG: I don’t often hang out with my collectors. Occasionally, I might go to a cocktail party or have lunch with someone, but hanging out with celebrities gets old really fast. I only talk about celebrity collectors who have mentioned being fans of my work in the media; there are others who will have to remain nameless until they declare themselves. There are a couple who are too busy fending off the Paparazzi to mention me, I guess.
AM: Finally… in your new show Voyeur, all your works seem to have fish/es somewhere in the artwork. Was that intentional?
SG: I did intentionally put a fish into each piece. The fish symbolizes something (and it’s not Christianity) but I will leave it to the viewers of the paintings to come up with their own theories as to what it means.
AM: Thanks for you time. We look forward to seeing this show in person.