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Exhibitions/ Art Object

Before and After

Jim Shaw (American, born Midland, Michigan, 1952)
Gelatin silver prints
Image: 20 x 27 cm (7 7/8 x 10 5/8 in.) each Frame: 36 x 41 cm (14 3/16 x 16 1/8 in.) each
Credit Line:
Collection of Francisco and Josiane Merino
Not on view
Shaw, a student of Baldessari’s at CalArts, was similarly fascinated by popular uses of photographic retouching and by the didactic simplicity of the before-and-after format. As part of his master’s thesis exhibition in 1978, Shaw created these heavily retouched photographs illustrating the transformation of ordinary people into reptilian extraterrestrials, affectionately lampooning the conventions of tabloid photographs that “prove” the existence of alien life.
Francisco Merino acquired Jim Shaw's work from the 'Air de Paris' Gallery in Paris, France. Reproduced in exhibition catalogue "Jim Shaw, 1974-1999: Everything Must Go" (Santa Monica, Calif.: Smart Art Press, c1999), p. 23. As per credits in the catalogue, this artwork was still in the collection of the artist at the time of the exhibition. Exhibited in the accompanying show on May 8-July 4, 1999, Casino Luxembourg--Forum d'art contemporain, and at the Musée d'art moderne et contemporain (MAMCO), Geneva during the first half of 2000.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop," October 10, 2012–January 27, 2013.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop," June 2, 2013–August 25, 2013.

Fineman, Mia. Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. no. 191, pp. 187, 253.