On April 16th, the Brooklyn Museum
will host its fourth annual Brooklyn Artists Ball in celebration of the borough’s creative community. Leading up to the event—which honors artists Jenny Holzer, Ai Weiwei, and Kehinde Wiley, and features a benefit auction, dinner, and dancing—we invite you to learn more about the artists who’ve contributed to the cause:
Iona Rozeal Brown’s works are visual mash-ups of Japanese and hip-hop iconography as a means of racial and cultural criticism. Brown, who is also an active DJ, likens her approach to that of music sampling, and draws a parallel between her two practices. She first became interested in Japanese visual culture after learning about ganguro, a phenomenon popular during the 1990s in which Japanese girls darkened their skin and dyed their hair blond as a challenge to ideals of beauty—an idea she found deeply troubling. Since then, Brown’s work has drawn on traditions of Japanese woodblock printmaking to make her large-scale acrylic painting. A recurring character in her work is Yoshi, a racially ambiguous female war hero sporting an afro and Japanese dress.