Thursday, May 16, 2013

COVER: Devan Shimoyama / New American Paintings / No. 105

Devan Shimoyama, It's Not Easy, Mixed media and found objects on canvas, 56 x 52 inches.

Devan Shimoyama is a 2014 Yale University MFA candidate.

New American Paintings was founded in 1993 as an experiment in art publishing. With over five thousand artists reviewed annually, it has become America’s largest and most important series of artist competitions. Each competition is catalogued in a unique volume: Northeast, South, Midwest, West, Pacific Coast, and MFA Annual. Featured artists are selected on the basis of artistic merit and provided space for free.

Shimoyama artist statement: 
My paintings reveal the exotic and fabulous through kitsch imagery, allusion, and materials. They display an expanded notion of identity that is both materialized and de-materialized. By adorning figures with glittering, nostalgic childhood objects, bedazzling becomes besmirching and the glamorous becomes grotesque. The figures show a loss of self while engaging in erotic acts or at the moment of ecstatic climax. These moments of intimacy, which often pair two versions of the same figure engaging in sensual acts with each other, illustrate a “coming of age” or loss of innocence, while encompassing the psychosexual stresses that came with growing up within my personal narrative.

The work of Lavar Munroe, 2013 MFA recipient from Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO is among the “Editor’s Selections” in the issue:

Lavar Munroe, Door to the Abyss, Mixed media, 67 x 80 inches.

Lavar Munroe, The Law, Mixed media, 60 x 108 inches.

Munroe artist statement: 
My artistic goal is to explore, address and re-narrate stereotypes assigned to impoverished people in the ghetto. My work refers to the notions of life, death, and the animal. I create a mythology that celebrates the state-of-being of poverty. Taking on the role of devil’s advocate, I combine negative stereotypes and misconceptions to create a personal mythology. I strive to uplift the status of the disadvantaged being through man-animal hybrids, artifacts, and constructed settings.

New American Paintings 2013 MFA Annual is available on newsstands now or order online here

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