Iona Rozeal Brown’s paintings are unprecedented mixture of courtesans, geisha and other Japanese subjects and American hip-hop culture. Brown’s interest in this subject was sparked by ganguro, a trend in the early 1990s among Japanese teenagers who were infatuated with looking like African American hip-hop stars.
Intrigued yet disturbed by this practice, Brown began focusing her work on the relationship between Asian (primarily Japanese and Korean) and American hip-hop culture. Recognizable brand names such as Burberry, Adidas, Crystal Champagne, as well as hairstyles and gestures, are taken from their original context and transposed within the visual language of Japanese ukiyo-e prints of the 19th century.
Founded as the New Gallery in 1968, the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (MOCA Cleveland) produces exhibitions and programs featuring the work of national and international artists, as well as established and emerging artists living in the Cleveland area. MOCA Cleveland is a non-collecting contemporary art museum. It presents an annual schedule of eleven temporary exhibits and series of lectures, workshops, and classes, highlighting artists of all modern art genres. Each exhibition is supported with programs for adults, families, students, and artists.