So last weekend I was at Disneyland (again) and discovered to my dismay that the Adventureland glasses were out of stock (hopefully that’s just temporary). However I was delighted to find that Shag’s merch for the Disney Cruise line had made their debut at the Disney Gallery. Above is ‘Island Intermission,’ a limited edition giclee priced at $395.
I’m a bit more frugal than that, so I opted for the postcard set ($18) that included two cards of each of the four designs. There are those pirate kids again—I remembered them from Shag’s Pirates of the Caribbean stuff and from this diptych from his macabre show Autumn’s Come Undone.
Also on display were a coaster set, decanter, four different glasses, and two shirts (girls’ printed tee and an aloha shirt, seen below). I was kind of surprised to find all this there because the Disney blog said it would only be available on the ship.
The selection of items was pretty similar to what Disney and Shag rolled out for the Haunted Mansion’s 40th Anniversary a year and a half ago.
Since there wasn’t anything overtly tiki about all that I’ll also include Shag’s map of Disney World, with a tiki for the Polynesian Resort. This print and more will be released this summer as part of the park’s 40th anniversary celebration.
Wacko is a kitschy wonderland of a retail space that also encompasses La Luz de Jesus gallery, which I featured in my previous post.
The store is stocked with pop-culture paraphernalia like retro toys, posters, stickers, and Fluff stuff, not to mention tons of art books and other interesting tomes. Prepare to take your time browsing!
There’s sure to be something to suit everyone’s twisted tastes, but of course I made a beeline for the tiki-themed enclave.
There were dashboard hula dancers, tiki figurines and mugs galore, including some of Tiki Farm‘s most recent designs.
And then there were these tiki candles in the incense section against the wall.
Owner Billy Shire is big in the low-brow art scene, so it wasn’t too surprising to stumble upon a stash of Shag prints, including some rarities.
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At the end of last year, Shag had a solo exhibition at the Corey Helford Gallery in Culver City entitled “Autumn’s Come Undone.” It had a pretty short run—only from November 21-December 9.
His art often portrays the slightly sordid underbelly of mid-century suburbia, but these works really took on a dark and morbid turn. (Perhaps it was inspired by all the swag he designed for Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion?) Sidenote: I can’t look at this and not think of the Goo Goo Dolls song “Black Balloon,” which also happens to be its name.
The first thing that I’m sure struck most Shag fans was the new color palette. Gone are the super saturated colors and in their place are more sobering shades to match the content. Each giclée was six feet wide, and some of them were assembled together as diptychs and triptychs.
His cast of characters remains mostly the same, but instead of cavorting in retro lounges and the like, they’re assembled in surreal, nightmarish scenes and Apocalyptic landscapes. Also somewhat unusual for Shag, there was basically no tiki imagery. I think the closest thing there was was this pseudo-tiki in “Smudge Pot.”
I think “Lone Star” had the most whimsical and humorous elements out of all the pieces—I especially liked the mechanical bulls and whiskey water.
“Seventh Sea” was another one of my favorites from the exhibition. (Teles and Ligeia were names of two of the sirens from Greek mythology.) Most of the panels also seemed to make references to his previous works, like “The Raft of the Medusa” in this case.
I’m sure the official catalog for the show sheds more light on the intentions and themes behind the exhibition, though I don’t really see myself adding it to my Shag collection as I must admit I prefer his more “commercial” art. You can see the exhibition in its entirety on the Corey Helford Gallery site.