When Milwaukee creator and curator, Emma Daisy, assembled a list of artists for The Bayshore Art Project, she wanted to pull from the best and brightest local artists - some emerging, some established. Shane Walsh is one of those unique, must-see fine artists, heralding MKE all the way to NYC.
The Milwaukee painter was fresh off a 2019 solo show in New York. His pieces -- mash-ups of modernist paintings with visual influences from '90s subcultures -- were also recently displayed at the Triennial Museum of Contemporary art, a Madison mainstay, admired by Milwaukee artists. Walsh was excited by the prospect of working with Daisy and with Artist Uprising, but he still harbored reservations on how his fine art would translate to a commercial space.
"This project was very different from what I usually do," Walsh says of Bayshore. "I'm almost strictly a studio-based fine artist, so I was a bit hesitant at first. My paintings are so much about the physical experience of paint and I knew that wouldn't necessarily translate to a large-scale wall painting."
Nevertheless, the challenge intrigued him. He signed on, eager to work with a great team and stretch his craft in new ways, pushing his own limits and pushing the limits of fine art experiences. In an interview in July, the painter detailed how his Bayshore experience was even more exciting than he expected.
This project was a wonderful challenge," Walsh said. Having to problem solve was fun for me and stretched me in a lot of ways. From the initial designs, to the change in scale, to what kind of paint I was going to use, these were all things I had to freshly consider because I had little to no experience working in a large-scale outdoor context."
The end result was spectacular. Walsh's Bayshore creations are a natural addition to his oeuvre. True to form, his work includes solid color shapes and vivid brush strokes, both of which harken back to the mid-20th century paintings and '90s aesthetics he grew up yearning to emulate.
"I'm happy to say all the kinks were smoothed out and making the work was hiccup-free," he says. "I'm really genuinely happy with the way the paintings turned out, and they feel similar to my studio work. That was really an unexpected surprise."
Photography by: Sam Li