G Fine Art Gallery Info Selected Archives Artists

Iona Rozeal Brown | Blending Lines

November 18 - January 6, 2007


press release:

Opening Reception: November 18, 6:30 - 8:30pm

In this show brown continues to explore ukiyo-e woodblock prints juxtaposed with the Japanese trend of skin-darkening. In addition to sampling specific ukiyo-e prints she has found her own hand informed by the style.

This post-black face series, while still examining the exportation of Black American pop culture and style to an Asian consumer youth, also investigates the culture’s “domestic” exportation. brown depicts anonymous subjects dressed up in excessive fashions inspired by western rap and hip-hop style. In a series of small brown and white drawings she highlights specific aspects of this dress, bling, braids, and breasts, while obscuring the faces of the wearers and removing all enticing qualities of the styles. The subjects are hidden and losing their identities, causing the viewer to define them only by their attire and acculturation. In the larger paintings their faces are dripping of make-up, their hair is dyed, and their jewelry shines; the characters are both adorned and consumed by their imported culture.

Looking at these cultural exchanges critically, brown provides a context to discuss concerns regarding gender, race, and class. How different cultures define themselves, how others interpret those cultures, and how individuals define themselves within cultures. In the paintings, collage elements mesh simultaneously with gold and silver leaf and the super-pristine surface of the paint.

iona rozeal brown was recently included in the shows, Complicit! Contemporary American Art & Mass Culture curated by Johanna Drucker, Andrea Douglas and Jill Hartz at the University of Virginia Museum of Art, Three Decades of Contemporary Art from the San Francisco Art Institute Walter and McBean Galleries, as well as When the East is in the House, a collaboration with Stella Lai at the Saltworks Gallery in Atlanta, GA.


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