Monday, February 28, 2011
John Wellington and I share many resume points - RISD, NYAA, Santa Monica, The Village. It's funny work - the man has based his career around his Asian fetish, essentially, although his artist's statement plays dumb/defensive/evasive about that. Or, like many artists, he can't write about his own work very well.
Still, the pastiche of Asian pop culture with Western classicism, paired with his dedication to craft, makes for an ironic profundity. I love the game-like captions and the combination of cultural levels - he doesn't just nod to Murakami, he includes him in a painting that seems to mock orientalizing generalizations:
Of course there's always that topic of the anti-real idol, the object of desire, but at times it's just another politically incorrect piece of cultural effluvia. The strength is the bizarre narratives implied by the game captions, set in these semi-medieval, semi-postmodern worlds.