Medium

Zhou Tiehai was determined to make a name for himself in the international art world, and he succeeded, reaping the benefits of the market even while exposing its absurdities. For Zhou, the process proved as simple as creating fake magazine covers that hailed him as a rising art star; the works delivered a self-fulfilling prophecy, and now his large-scale airbrush paintings are highly sought after, despite not bearing any traces of the artist’s own hand (they are executed by a team of assistants). Known for their cheekiness, Zhou’s signature “Joe Camel” paintings feature the cigarette company’s mascot replacing the subjects in iconic works by Leonardo da Vinci, Francisco de Goya, Richard Prince, and Jeff Koons. Joe Camel has been described as Zhou’s alter ego and a spoof on Westerners, who are sometimes stereotyped in China as having big noses.

Blue-chip
Represented by internationally recognized galleries.
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
2017
Art and China after 1989: Theater of the WorldGuggenheim Museum
2013
CLUTCHShanghART
The Spectacle of the SpectaclesShanghART
View all

The Great Dictator, 2009

Oil on canvas
15 7/10 × 20 1/2 in
40 × 52 cm
Location
Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore
Medium

Zhou Tiehai was determined to make a name for himself in the international art world, and he succeeded, reaping the benefits of the market even while exposing its absurdities. For Zhou, the process proved as simple as creating fake magazine covers that hailed him as a rising art star; the works delivered a self-fulfilling prophecy, and now his large-scale airbrush paintings are highly sought after, despite not bearing any traces of the artist’s own hand (they are executed by a team of assistants). Known for their cheekiness, Zhou’s signature “Joe Camel” paintings feature the cigarette company’s mascot replacing the subjects in iconic works by Leonardo da Vinci, Francisco de Goya, Richard Prince, and Jeff Koons. Joe Camel has been described as Zhou’s alter ego and a spoof on Westerners, who are sometimes stereotyped in China as having big noses.

Blue-chip
Represented by internationally recognized galleries.
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions (3)
Related works
Related artists