Iona Rozeal Brown’s Afro-Japanese paintings

“Brown, Smoking Pipe,” mixed media on wood panel, 60 × 48 inches,(152.4×121.9 cm), 2013

Geishas rock afros, corn rolls and dreadlocks. They fashionably freeze with the same intensity that break dancers pose on the floor, but artist Iona Rozeal Brown’s acrylic painted Asiatic people are in brown face, and they’re a clashing of sorts. Comic book motifs, Ukiyo-e prints, Kabuki theater, Noh, Byzantine religious painting, voguing and most notably hip-hop, mix together like two turntables playing tug of war with the cross fader. If Brown was a DJ (which apparently she is), she’d be taking viewers on a journey all over space and back-back–forth-and-forth through time. Her blending is flawless. Victory.

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