Kathy Aoki - Room 212

I am a sneaky feminist who comments on contemporary beauty and pop culture trends. I use humor, as well as familiar visual formats, such as historical illustration, to lure the viewer into the work.

The last four solo installations of my work were presented in the context of an ersatz beauty museum. Works are often stylistically diverse, as if created in different time periods and reflecting different moments in art history. The museum framework allows for commentary on today’s values in a familiar format that is inviting rather than confrontational. Often, the work is presented in ornate frames adorned with brass plaques, accompanied by museum-style labels that include authoritative language. A performance aspect as Curator has developed, wherein I don a wig and a blazer and give a faux art history lecture (including radical theories linking the works together) using PowerPoint and a laser pointer.

For the stARTup Art Fair, I will present my fake historical work in the form of hand-pulled prints, drawings, and small objects, organized by theme/period. These are three of my current museum themes:

  1. Imagined Dance Styles of 1800’s: I capture highly suggestive dance moves and recontextualize them in social and private scenes from the Victorian age.
  2. Princess Fashion Phenomenon: These works illustrate a time in the near future when women will dress as princesses on a daily basis, having been inculcated with Disney princess crap in their youth.
  3. Makeup Landscapes (including “mascara forests”). The lithographs and intaglio prints from the Mascara Forest series resemble serene winter landscapes until the viewer notices that the trees are actually mascara brush tips and other eyelash beauty implements.


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For more information about Kathy Aoki, please visit her website.