The Easel

Crackpot Gothic

There seems to be agreement that Jim Shaw is a visionary artist but reviewers do struggle with how to characterize his work. Is it comic art, Surrealism, Conceptualism, kitsch or just strange? Besides making his own art, Shaw also trawls through thrift shops for “outsider art” – items for which he is often the only bidder. The reviewer provides his own summation – “cheerful [and] enigmatic … crackpot gothic”.