Monday, January 17, 2011


the dreaded artist statement. If only I could get my professor to write it for me. He's magically able to articulate all the little bits of my paintings and also synthesise how they all go together. He sees the theme. I see the lil bits that could use tweaking. bah!

1. host/hostess culture, well that really comes out from my interest in contemporary japanese art that focuses on consumerism in society, including how sex and the sex industry fit into that. mizu shobai as it would be. The artists that inspired me include but are not limited to Shimada Yoshiko-san, Masuyama Hiroshi-san, Aida Makoto-san, Nara to a lesser extent, and of course Murakami Takashi-san and the kaikai&ki ki crew. Murakami-san is by far one of the most interesting. Written off as the Japanese Warhol (uhgh interview magazine - you screwed up on that one) he is in fact the one whom I think really brought the movement to an international level by recognising how the message about consumerism really needed to be decoded in that format as well. So salute to McLuhan and make Mr.DOB dolls. Which DOB, reflection of the pervasive presence of not only the West's Mickey Mouse, but more importantly the East's Hello Kitty.  Yes, Hello Kitty; you may despise the sight of her but she is so much more than a brand but the forerunner and proof the insinuative power of a revolution of cultural perception. When you think of Japan do you think anime, manga, Hello Kitty, sushi, Sailor Moon, Domo-kun and maybe samurai? Or is your first thought about troops tortured in POW camps, the Bataan Death March, the rape of Nanking and Pearl Harbor. Well, if like most you tended toward the former then that is a result of a perceptual revolution in which Japan having lost the war underwent a change to appear 'cuter' and softer to increase public appeal after the war.

2. portraiture. (Alice Neel, Jacques-Louis David, John Brack, Bernard Buffet, Francis Bacon, Egon Schiele, Tamara de'Limpicka, Waterhouse, Kehinde Wiley, ukiyo-e, sylvia ji, bei badgirl?.....)

3. artifice, which fits in with the consumerism thing but I'm planning to expand with a piece that explores what a lie looks like. Which only people have the power to lie so that could be tied into portraiture, but I want it to be more conceptual. Not what is a liar but what is a lie. White lies, evasion, with holding, forgetting, implications, deception.... a lie is 'an intentionally false statement' but we consider all the others forms of dishonesty, so does that make them lies, do we need to know reasons behind lies - does that change the severity or is "it all a lie".

4. And I've enjoyed doing some urban landscapes lately. course the one was a facade and intended to make a reference to 'little america' and ended up trying to achieve that by dragging in some religious allusions. Which, religion - one big lie? a huge sham of artifice but considered one for the moral good?

blah blah blah. I should stop rambling and approach this in earnest. in a word processor. and find a writing sample for my much neglected and unlikely to be sent Guggenheim Summer internship Application. Way to drop the ball on that one C.

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