Dream-inspired book covers for imaginary pulp novels by Americana connoisseur-bricoleur Jim Shaw
Since the 1970s, American artist Jim Shaw (born 1952) has used his multimedia artistic practice as a means of exploring and exploiting pop-culture iconography. This publication focuses on one of the key series in Shaw's corpus, in which he draws inspiration from the Anglo-American graphic design and illustrative tradition of cheap paperback books. Inspired by the artist's intense dreaming life, the Paperback Covers series (1996-2013) recreates the lurid imagery associated with pulp novels, with vertical canvases that depict fantastical and irreverent imagery: in one, a werewolf in suspenders is struck by an oncoming 18-wheeler; in another, a line of chorus girls dance in front of a vampire and a woman in red as the couple is in engulfed by flames. Though these "books" bear no text, Shaw's paintings evoke exciting narratives within a single image. All the inventoried Paperback Covers are collected in this softcover volume along with a text by Charlie Fox.