Cloned is San Francisco-based artist Alice Shaw sixth solo exhibition with Gallery 16.
Using images of a single sheep, Shaw continues her exploration of dichotomy and duplication, examining the tension between the antiquated photo subject and the contemporary perspective. The artist associates black and white images of animals with a bygone era, recalling a time when regal portrayals of livestock and farms were prevalent in the early twentieth century. Shaw selects the sheep to represent this past, as the quintessential symbol of cloning and a basis for discussing the photograph's near limitless ability to reproduce multiples from a single original. While Cloned takes on a vintage quality, the artist presents her subject in newer constructions including structured dimensional pieces, a repetition of form via stereo camera, and side-by-side positive and negative prints. Shaw’s images evoke contrast and comparison, inviting a dialogue between the authenticity of the subject versus its duplicity when considering an original and its identical replication.
Drawn to binaries since her early entry into photography, Alice Shaw has always kept a Diane Arbus book in her mind—the one planted on the family bookshelf growing up. The book cover bore the Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey, 1967. The twins fascinated Shaw as she noted their distinct similarities and differences. When Alice was 17, her mother gave birth to her twin sisters—the pair became frequent photo subjects Shaw’s, deepening her interest in twinning. Past projects have often centered on the mirroring that manifests in self-portraits, as well as side-by-side comparisons seeking commonalities among unlikely others.
About the artist: Alice Shaw often infuses humor into her artwork. Though she was educated as a photographer she also utilizes other art forms to realize her concepts. Shaw is an Artadia Grant Awardee and is included in the collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Gallery 16 published her book, People Who Look Like Me, in 2006. In August of 2017 her permanent large-scale public artwork, No Other Lands Their Glory Know, was installed at The San Francisco International Airport in terminal G95.