AR4T Gallery is pleased to present Love Kills, the first solo exhibition by Orange County artist Robert “Sticky” Shaw. Sticky is known for his bold characters taking claim over a complex backdrop of manic lines and collected paper mementos – each small piece an individual memory carefully placed to create a multiple-layered landscape through which we walk. A plethora of 1930s-60s newspaper clips saved by his father, love notes, lipstick and music bills become a waking dream of creative drama.
“Love Kills” is a window into the past, present and future. The story starts in a time when Sticky was an adolescent and he suffered from a disorder called “Cutting” The “Cutting” came about from the loss of a dear family friend who took his own life. Sticky also at this time was a heavy drinker and was experimenting with prescription drugs and marijuana. He fell in love with Punk music and as tradition has it, he fell madly in love with a girl. They dated for a short period, and as a young adult it seemed like years. Then one day she moved to New York to follow her dreams and was gone. Suffering her loss, in his room – a comfort zone surrounded with images of punk rock heroes – Sticky cut himself to release his anger and frustration.
Years later, Sticky traveled to New York on various occasions. On one of his many trips he stayed at the Chelsea Hotel, where his room was on the same floor where Sid and Nancy spent Nancy’s fatal last night. He found it surreal to be so close to where one of his Punk idols had stayed, while at the same time all of the emotions for his first love returned and overtook his heart like a river. But Sticky could not act on his feelings, his ex had found someone else.
After the loss of Sticky’s elderly father in June 2011, and AR4T duo show “Girls vs Boys” where he sold all works created for that show, Sticky was inspired to pull out some of his long saved inspirations. Looking back to move forward, the artist presents cutout pieces from his father’s newspaper collection such as: “President John F. Kennedy is laid to rest among the dead of the nation’s wars” and a clip referring to tax woes, dated Feb. 11, 1939, Los Angeles Examiner. A Sid and Nancy poster from Sticky’s adolescent days is splattered with long dried blood stains still fresh in his heart… the cornerstone of his first solo show, Love Kills.