Magazine article Artforum International

Jim Shaw

Magazine article Artforum International

Jim Shaw

Article excerpt

WHEN I FIRST MET MIKE, in art school at the University of Michigan, the only thing that was apparent was that we were the two weirdest guys there. As I got to know him better, though, it became obvious that Mike was one of the most naturally gifted painters I would ever meet. Over time, his intellect would come to dominate the various scenes we were involved in. But initially his facility for drawing and coloration set him apart. As a student, his inspirations (de Kooning, Jim Nutt, weirdos) shone through heavily, and I suppose that was why he came to disown most of his undergrad work and left the majority of his paintings and ceramics in a knee-deep junk pile that the landlord eventually emptied out of our college hippie house, God's Oasis.

One thing I regretted about Mike's career was that he never allowed that painterly ability to fully unfold again. Perhaps it was the effect of those "educational complexes" unconsciously weighing on him, or of his own inner self-critic, who was always the most scathing reviewer. …

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