Iona Rozeal Brown

Born 1966
Hometown Washington, DC
Lives and Works New York, NY
MFA, Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT, 2002
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME, 1999
BFA, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA, 1999
Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, 1996

Robert Goff Gallery, New York, NY
G Fine Art, Washington DC

The artist Iona Rozeal Brown uses her large-scale acrylic paintings to wryly comment on the ductile and ever-changing essence of cultural identity, most often by creating visual mash-ups of two disparate but in fact subtly harmonious subcultures: the samurai and geishas depicted in traditional Japanese ukiyo-e printmaking and the contemporary world of hip-hop. Trained in the art of ukiyo-e herself, Brown pursues a transcultural aesthetic in both her imagery and her technique, mixing the racial, gender, and class issues in her subject matter with the deftness of a DJ.

A recurring character in Brown's work is Yoshi, a wise female war hero—sporting an afro and classical Japanese garb—whose enlightened state allows her to exist as a communicant between divinities and mortals, guiding those still on earth. The artist's paintings have been widely exhibited, and she received a solo show at Cleveland's Museum of Contemporary Art in 2010. In 2011 she was commissioned to create a performance for the Performa biennial.

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