“Mad Men” might have officially ended, but there’s another enduring, loosely simpatico creative brand that’s being reintroduced anew to Los Angeles.
The Orange County-based artist Josh Agle, a.k.a. “Shag,” is known for his stylized figures — and the occasional slinky black cat — living it up in cocktail-fueled, midcentury modern settings where the enviably cool party never stops. Now all things Shag are available locally in a Melrose Avenue store that officially opened on Nov. 7.
“I’ve been painting scenes set in L.A. since my very first exhibition. I love the lifestyle, landmarks, history and people, and they’ve always inhabited my art,” Agle said. “It just makes sense to have a retail store and gallery in the city.”
Having successfully operated the Shag Store in Palm Springs since 2010, owner Jay Nailor and his wife, MiShell, run the L.A. venue showcasing Agle’s limited-edition signed prints, personal accessories and home goods. Nailor and crew spent four months renovating a former tile showroom on the upscale stretch of Melrose Avenue where fashionable neighbors include Marc Jacobs, A.P.C. and the Kelly Wearstler boutique.
Shag-related items range from stickers and magnets that cost just a few bucks, to serigraph and large giclee prints. Custom-built displays contain new L.A.-inspired beverage glasses, throw pillows and a set of coasters featuring four L.A. landmarks that are available just in time for the holidays.
The current show exhibits some of his earlier pieces that reflect Agle’s affinity for pop culture imagery and design icons, and the West Hollywood gallery stocks Agle’s newest work, the 18-color silkscreen print titled “995 Skyline Drive.”
With sharp lines and a cartoonish, fun approach to painting and illustration, Agle is a dedicated fine artist with a commercially savvy designer’s sensibility. He attracted a following around the time a new generation of fans was embracing cocktail culture and midcentury style during the early aughts.
Agle and Nailor met in 2003 in Palm Springs through their “mutual love of midcentury art and architecture,” Nailor explained, and they’ve been involved in various events and organizations to promote the desert’s famed historic resources. (Nailor, who lives in Palm Springs, is a cofounder of Palm Springs Modernism Week and the Palm Springs Modern Committee.)
As is to be expected, Nailor designed the shop in eye-popping, bright shades, from the red Corona chair — Agle’s choice, specifically — paired with a shag rug, faux rock wall and multicolored tiki lamps.
“L.A. has more midcentury modern buildings that anywhere,” Nailor notes, so the new location is a fitting home for Shag art and wares. The Melrose Avenue spot in particular offers “good crossover with fashion and design,” he added. Any contemporary designer who wants an idea of how creative legacies can be honored by posterity might want to visit the Shag Store.
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. Beginning December 4, the store will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 8443 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. (323) 424-3005; (760) 322-3400.