shag palm springs

Mr. Popular

The retro-style artist with the Palm Springs-inspired aesthetic dishes on how the pandemic is impacting his work — and why he’ll never design a Shag snow globe.

Elizabeth Anderson Lopez Arts & Entertainment, Current Guide

shag palm springs

His real name is Josh Agle, but he’s better known as Shag in Palm Springs.
PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID BLANK

Has COVID-19 affected your art?

Until last year, my art releases were very event focused. We always had a big party at The Shag Store with a live band and full open bar. Now, when we release a new print or something like that, it’s online. People can come into the store, but there’s no big event. I don’t have to put on a fancy suit. I am missing the social aspect.

Did you notice a dip in business?

It was actually a good year for me as an artist. You may not be able to experience a tiki bar during the pandemic, but you can buy a piece of art that reminds you of that. And then the money that people would have spent going out, they spent on a new piece of art for their house. Fortunately, it worked out well for me.

What’s been a perk of creating your art under the Shag persona?

I can move around the world with a little more anonymity. Strangers occasionally approach me. I was at the post office a few months ago and a woman behind me in line came up and said, “I just want you to know that I really like your art.” That’s the good thing about being an artist. People recognize your art but they don’t necessarily recognize you as the artist.

shagCallOfTheWild

Call of the Wild by Shag.

How do you decide what you want to put a Shag spin on?

It’s got to be something I really like — something that either speaks to me now or spoke to me when I was younger. I get approached by a lot of companies who want to work with me or want me to do a print or something. It’s got to fit into the world of Shag and make a good piece of art.

Are there any objects you wouldn’t put your art on?

It needs to either be useful or be art. A sculpture — that’s art. A cocktail glass — that’s useful. There are certain products that aren’t either of those — for example, a snow globe. It’s a tchotchke, so there will never be a Shag snow globe.

What else would you like to create?

I’ve been asked many times, “When are you going to open a bar?” Usually, I’ve pooh-poohed the idea. Weirdly, since this whole pandemic lockdown started, I’ve been thinking about wanting to open a bar in Palm Springs, so that might happen in the next couple years.

Josh Recommends

Everyone asks me about bars, restaurants, and architecture in Palm Springs, but I recommend the quad rentals at Off Road Rentals at Windy Point on Highway 111. They show riders an instruction video they’ve been using since the early 1990s, so it’s a trip back in time. The people who rent the quads and outfit the riders are the same people in the video, but they’re 25 years older. It’s a fun outdoor activity and a nice break from brunches and golf.

Josh Agle, aka Shag
Artist, The Shag Store
745 N. Palm Canyon Drive,
Palm Springs
@theartistshag
@shagstoreps
@theshagstorepalmsprings