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The Princess Fashion Phenomenon

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The Princess Fashion Phenomenon

When Kathy Aoki created the “Princess Fashion Phenomenon” series of linocut, silkscreen, intaglio and lithographic prints, she envisioned a time in the not-so-distant future when women will dress as princesses on a daily basis. After years of inculcation by media powerhouses such as Disney and Mattel, girls brought up to love and mimic all things […]

Mascara Forests

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Mascara Forests

These lithographs and watercolor drawings resemble serene winter landscapes until the viewer notices that the trees are actually mascara brush tips and other eyelash beauty implements. It is rumored that Aoki actually used mascara liquid as a medium until she became discouraged by frequent “clumping” and returned to lithographic tusche. Note the ominous “mascara slick” […]

Imagined Dance Styles of the 1800’s

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Imagined Dance Styles of the 1800’s

Aoki’s lithographic and intaglio prints suggest that certain popular dances of today (such as Twerking and Gangnam Style) could have originated over 100 years ago. In Gangnam Style (at the Moulin Rouge), Jacques Renaudin, known as Valentin the Boneless for his smooth dance moves, is seen mastering a dance with a mysterious gentleman whose spectacles […]

Patriotic Beauty

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Patriotic Beauty

Many American women who entered the workforce to replace men at war (aka “Rosie the Riveters”) were discharged at the end of World War II and forced to return to domestic life. In Aoki’s monotype of a bald eagle clutching a lipstick, Aoki imagines a 1946 government propaganda campaign designed to encourage women to stay […]

Bleaching and Waxing Scenes

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Bleaching and Waxing Scenes

These hand pulled original prints are based on master works depicting surgery, such as Thomas Eakins’ painting “The Gross Clinic” and Rembrandt’s “Anatomy Lesson.” Using a Wacom tablet, I redrew the paintings as traditional etchings, with characteristics such as aquatint and cross-hatching. The resulting solar plate was printed by hand using an etching press. The […]

Construction of Modern Girlhood (2001-2008)

Construction of Modern Girlhood (2001-2008)

The Construction of Modern Girlhood Relief prints, mixed media works on paper, wall installation, sculpture 2001-2008 This series is a visual allegory, which illustrates how the media affects and exploits girls. Narrative prints, paintings, and sculpture, depict an alternate universe run by animé-style female construction workers who build false monuments to girlhood for worship. I […]

Political Paper Dolls: San Jose Museum of Art (2012)

Political Paper Dolls: San Jose Museum of Art (2012)

“Political Paper Dolls” by Kathy Aoki Steel, Mixed Media, Canvas, Magnets 2012 This large scale interactive installation was commissioned by the San Jose Museum of Art for the exhibition “Renegade Humor,” on display at SJMA from February 3 – July 8, 2012. The four steel “paperdoll” figures with interchangeable clothing include: “Arnie’s Garb” “Obama’s Pajamas” […]