"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Roger Shimomura

Shimomura Crossing the Delaware

This 2010 self-portrait by Roger Shimomura, Shimomura Crossing the Delaware, hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"As an artist, Roger Shimomura (born 1939) has focused particular attention on the experiences of Asian Americans and the challenges of being 'different' in America. He knows well the pain and embarrassment associated with xenophobia: as a small child during World War II, he and his family were relocated from their home in Seattle to a Japanese American internment camp in Idaho.

This painting takes as its source Emanuel Leutze's 1851 painting Washington Crossing the Delaware, which is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Shimomura presents himself in the guise of America's Founding Father; he replaces George Washington's colonial troops with samurai warriors; and he remakes the body of water they cross to resemble San Francisco Harbor with Angel Island (the processing center for Asian immigrants) in the background. The work echoes the compositional format of a Katsushika Hokusai wood-block print." -- National Portrait Gallery

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