As a painter, Jenny Shaw is the choreographer of her own visual symphonies. Her delicately executed compositions play across the canvas to the sound of an invisible orchestra. As if glimpsing at an imaginary stage from above, we see broad fields of pastel shades traversed by explosive rivers of colors; an ensemble gracefully directed by Shaw, who studied ballet and spent a decade competing as a ballroom dancer. In her paintings music, movement, and visuals become one. The tempo varies from adagio to allegro to vivacissimo; while every element conspires to partake in this glorious performance: flower stems jut out like the strings of a violin, petals become the ruffled tutus of a ballerina, as fairies tiptoe across the canvas leaving colorful imprints at their passage.
Shaw achieves this result by applying layers of acrylic, gouache, gesso, oil pastels, and markers using a brush as well as her hands. As she builds up texture, she scrapes off and covers some of the paint to reveal only the essential. This is Shaw’s way of sifting through the chaos of life, deciding what to eliminate and what to preserve and cherish.
Originally from Taiwan, Shaw graduated in English Literature and had a successful career as a journalist, writing for eminent publications such as The Asian World. She held her first solo exhibition in 2002 at the American Club Taipei, during which thirty of her pieces were sold. Two more solo shows as well as innumerable group shows followed. Shaw currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.