Marc Blondeau, Lionel Bovier, Philippe Davet. Text by Alison M. Gingeras. Zurich, 2007
Softcover, 96 pp., 96 color plates, 12 X 15.75 inches.
Almost 16 inches tall and 12 inches wide and jacketed in a 53 x 37-inch foldout poster of Jim Shaw's deeply disturbing black-and-white oil painting of Ronald Reagan's distorted face (layered with smaller, ghostlike figures of American violence like Charles Manson and Rambo), this darkly riveting limited-edition artist's book contains works from five series of portraits made over the course of the artist's four-decade-long career: the Distorted Faces drawings (1978-85) and paintings (1986-2007); the Noir portraits of 1978; the sketches for Shaw's Giant Face paintings (1992) and other assorted faces from 1993-2006. The format and print quality of this one-of-a-kind publication truly allow Shaw's legendary graphic abilities to shine--particularly in the hyperreal Distorted Faces series. According to Alison M. Gingeras' catalogue essay, "The jingle-like language of Pop has been transformed into rambling, run-on sentences that describe fragmented ideas, associative thoughts and schizophrenic images. Too strange, too perverse, too lurid, too precise: Shaw is an elusive character that defies categorization."