i'm so in love with this art right now, i might marry it.
Thanks for this -- I think I'm going to see the gallery now!
Ummm...nice review, Jen; but I think you totally missed the point with the Ichiro painting. The title is actually, "NOT A J.A. (Japanese American)". The point is that we are *Americans*; not Japanese.
I'm sick and tired of whitey thinking I've got an innate connection to some baseball player just because my great-grandparents emigrated from Japan.
It's part of the logic that *created* the incarceration camps, fer crissakes.
I saw a couple of his at the place next to Kucera (?) last time I went to First Thursday. Great stuff.
Whitey? Americans? You just used two labels that are resented by a great majority of people living in A., the North and South American Continents, and B., Cucasians who are citizens of the United States. If you want people to get over the "logic" that created the internment camps, perhaps you should examine your own prejudice first.
Shimomura is a self pitying twat. News flash: Nations do horrible cruel things to its people during war, especially if you are a minority. his running theme seems to be 'white people and american culture are pure evil'. It's his opinion, but it's like a 12 year old throwing a temper tantrum. Roger, dry em.
I wonder if he knows how deeply racist the country of his ancestry is? Modern day Japan makes a KKK lynching seem positively PC.
I like the first three paintings, esp. the first one, but the Ichiro jumps the shark a little.
i hate art.
@6 Is that the impression you truly take away from the art or is this how you feel you yourself are treated? I think that the paintings show a great deal of dignity and grace from a very quiet perspective.
@6 - I wonder if he knows how deeply racist the country of his ancestry is? Modern day Japan makes a KKK lynching seem positively PC.
Wow, that so has absolutely nothing to do with anything. My mind. It is blown.
The country of ancestry isn't important. That's kind of the point.
@6: Is it self-pitying to speak truth about injustice, to transform suffering into art? His art is courageous, especially now, when secret prisons and torture are back. Shimomura's art reminds us that not only could it happen here, but it's been done before, and to our own citizens, just because they looked like "the enemy."
Your simple view misses the point of this show and of the artist's larger body of work. It's enough for an artist to point out the injustice in our culture. It's not the job of the artist to find the solutions too.
Shimomura is part of a larger group of political artists who choose poetic ways of suggesting things rather then simply issuing polemics.
Should Kara Walker forget about slavery? Should Christian Boltanski forget about the Holocaust?
Should Jaune Quick-to-see-Smith forget about Native American injustices? Should Glenn Ligon forget about racism? Should Nancy Spero forget about injustices to women? Should David Wojnarovicz have forgotten about wrongs against gays? Should Leon Golub have forgotten about American torture? The list of contemporary artists who hold a mirror up to American self-satisfaction, and show us the ugliness reflected there, will go on and on as long as this country continues to forget its mistakes and goes on to repeat them.
These are all perfectly good issues for artists to deal with. Shimomura has made an intelligent body of work addressing the issues of the historical political conflict and the current cultural conflict that has so affected Asian Americans. I'm pleased to show this work as I've been pleased to show work by each of the above mentioned artists.
Ryan, "open 'em" and see.
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