Ends December 09, 2019 at 6:27pm UTC.
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Yue Minjun’s ‘Smile-ism’ series consists of a number of graphic self-portraits, in which the artist boasts scaled pink skin and a maniacally toothy smile. Often based on well-known European masterpieces and iconic Chinese art, Minjun’s compositions subvert the grandiosity of art history using exaggerated Pop aesthetics. The unsettling, exuberant faces also offer an ironic commentary on the concept of personal freedom and happiness in modern Chinese society.
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Through avant-garde oil paintings and works on paper, Beijing-based artist Yue Minjun (b.1962) employs self-portraiture to explore broader cultural and societal landscapes. By multiplying scores of images of himself laughing, Minjun creates casts of grinning characters to recreate poses and scenes from the Western canon of art history. In a 2007 sale at Sotheby’s, his painting, the 'Execution,' sold for $5.9, becoming the most expensive work of Chinese contemporary art to be sold at the time.