Liz Maw was raised as a Catholic, and her paintings often reflect on quasi-religious themes, such as the idea of worship, and link these to the central position of sexuality and celebrity in contemporary society. Maw’s works emulate the scale and impact of historical European painting, often presenting full length figures at life-size or larger. However, these are not portraits of kings or princes, but of the powerful figures of the collective pop-cultural subconscious. These include celebrities, such as Clint Eastwood (Bill, 2006) and Robert Plant (Robert Plant, 2005) religious figures such as Jesus (Jesus, 2002), and mythological creatures like the minotaur (My Love, 2003) and mermaid (Naiad, 2006). Maw’s works have a seamless, immaculate surface that is both sensuous and disturbing, sitting between medieval icon painting and airbrushed magazine illustration. This play with questions of high and low art is a core feature of her practice. Maw’s work is held in many public and private collections, including that of the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and the Chartwell Trust collection. A book of images of her paintings with accompanying poems by the artist, My Beloved Hackneyed, was published in 2008.