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Art writing - Essay Example

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Among the 20th century’s artists of non-American descent Roger Shimomura holds a remarkable place with his peculiar style and emphasized general ironical tone of his works. Having been born in America in 1939 and being the third-generation American citizen, Roger Shimomura,…
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Download file to see previous pages... Thus, this idea functions as a core motif in Shimomura’s work. What is also remarkable and attractive about these works is the style involving a balanced combination of Japanese woodblock printing traditions based on the features of ukiyo-e genre and bold American pop art style which became extremely popular in the 1960’s. The paintings are colorful and remind strongly of comic books with their bold limes, saturated colors and the way of depiction, however, this is mixed with the conventional visual elements of ukiyo-e. One of the painter’s most remarkable works – a spicy “mockery” for ethnicity stereotypes – is a painting created in 2010, “Shimomura Crossing the Delaware”.
In fact, the painting is a daring parody for the classical picture of Emanuel Leutze celebrating the historically significant event of the American Revolution. The original painting depicts crossing the Delaware on the Christmas night of 1776 led by George Washington.
Conducting a little research on the background of the current painting, one is able to single out the key strategy deployed in it. The principal strategy the author uses is appropriation. Appropriation is understood as taking (involving) an already preexisting symbol, object or an artwork into the new one applying no or little transformation1.Appropriation uses the images that already exist and recontextualizes them in order to create a new concept behind them. “Shimomura Crossing the Delaware” complies with this definition as it is an ironical reconsideration of the already existing object (the work of art).
The picture created by Shimomura preserves the idea and composition, yet is a parody bearing a peculiar style of the painter. There is a boat with several oars, a flag-bearer and a leader – who was originally Washington – on the foreground; background contains a silhouette of a similar boat, the sea framed with the clouds and a shoreline on ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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