Eric Shaw’s work is indicative of painting’s continued longevity, even well into the digital age. His paintings begin as drawings, but not in the most traditional sense. Sketching first on an app on his smartphone, he then translates the drawing from the small screen to the canvas using acrylic paint. Shaw’s compositions are energized by his use of punchy color, flat forms, and slick surfaces, making paintings that look like the work of a latter-day Pop artist with a funky digital edge. His application of large fields of paint in decidedly millennial color configurations feels like a fresh take on his Pop predecessors like Roy Lichtenstein and John Wesley — bright, bold, and brilliant.
A self-trained artist, Shaw doodles incessantly and through this habit has developed a keen eye for composition and line. His paintings combine the digital and the handmade in a process that shares roots with David Hockney’s iPad drawings, but Shaw elevates his work out of the realm of the digital by transposing his pixelated conceptions into paintings on canvas, faithfully copied by hand. Retaining the crisp line and meandering movement of the smartphone drawings, the enlarged digital studies fill the surface with complex tangles of color and line. These overlapping elements create a distinct sense of depth in the work, as if the viewer could visually push through the built-up compositional space.