Great twerks of the 19th century

In advertising for the Palo Alto Art Center’s exhibition Local Editions: A Celebration of Bay Area Printmaking 6/15/19 – 8/25/19, this arresting print by Judy Aoki:

(#1) (She) Twerkin’, 2014 stone lithograph with watercolor (on Aoki’s website under the title Dance Styles of the 1800’s, from her Museum of Historical Makeovers)

A note on the late 20th- / early 21st-century dance craze twerking, then more on Aoki and her work.

Twerking. See my 9/4/13 posting “One more twerk”, which has links to three previous twerk postings. And in action:

(#2) 2014 twerk choreo by DHQ Fraules (music: Travis Porter, “Bring It Back”)

Aoki. From Wikipedia:

Kathy Aoki is a feminist artist who works in many different mediums, including printmaking, video and painting.

… She currently lives in Santa Clara, California and is an associate professor of studio art at Santa Clara University.

… Aoki’s work explores “gender, beauty and culture consumerism.” While she says that her work is feminist, she wants viewers to “feel comfortable” with her work “so that they want to stick around and get the message.” Her work often contains pop-culture themes, such as incorporating elements from anime and manga or by referencing My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (Battle of Kawaii). She has also parodied superheroes and public service messages in her work. In combination with her popular culture themes, Aoki has created the “role as ‘curator’ of the fictitious Museum of Historical Makeovers” for herself, which allows her to examine consumerism and beauty in a humorous way.

To remind you, from NOAD:

adj. kawaii: (in the context of Japanese popular culture) cute: she paints elephants that are extremely kawaii. noun kawaii: the quality of being cute, or items that are cute: even in a cosmopolitan city like Tokyo, kawaii is everywhere.

Aoki has a page on the Kala Art Institute site, which has a set of her MHMO prints:

(#3) nw How I Lost My Vegetarianism, 1998 linocut; ne Sex Slave, Porn Star, 2001 multiple plate linocut; sw Thanks Mom, 1999 multiple plate linocut; se Big Tools Rock, 1998 silkscreen with watercolor

(#4) nw Untitled (Wingnut) 2001 multiple plate linocut; ne The Lawyer, 2000 multiple plate linocut; sw Truckin’, 2001 multiple plate linocut; se Teddy Harvest, 2002 multiple plate linocut (heavy machinery meets kawaii in the last two)

Note on the Kala Institute:

Kala Art Institute’s mission is to help artists sustain their creative work over time through its Artist-in-Residence and Fellowship Programs, and to engage the community through exhibitions, public programs, and education. (studio 1060 Heinz Ave., Berkeley 94710; gallery 2990 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley 94702)


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