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The Masters Meet Ikea:
Koya Abe and his Digital Art:

Digital artist Koya Abe's Project: Display 3 is a series of large c-prints that combine the human subjects of traditional European Portraiture paintings with images of contemporary interiors, creating an unusual contrast that is virtually impossible to ignore.

the project as explained by the artist:
PROJECT: Digital Art Chapter 3:

Visual technology and installation systems have been developed to create displays for the ideas of perception and desire. Human beings seek ways to portray themselves within a social context. In such they will seek to use representations of common desires to represent the way in which they seek to be perceived. People aspire to have an ideal display of their life. Ironically, at the same time they to seek to find their ideal life within the display. Modern commercialism realized this strategy and engaged the method of display in the same way that traditional portrait painters had in the past.

This project explores two apparently different periods and art traditions. One area is the tradition of European portrait painting and the other is the “art” of modern commercial presentation. In this context, the paintings are historical masterpieces intended for an exclusive audience and the other is a commercial interior showroom for the mass market. These two image sources were created in different physical, historical and conceptual terms, the “high art” of the aristocracy and the “consumer art” of an Ikea showroom. However, they have one area of common ground; an idea that I refer to as “display.” This is a key concept for both of these visual sources and is an underlying concept for art and visual history.

Koya Abe is a Japanese artist who has resided in New York City since 1994. He currently teaches photography and digital imaging in the Department of Art and Art Professions at New York University.

The NY Times said ..."Koya Abe is a Japanese-born artist with one eye on cultural stereotypes of the East and the other on the ''Wild West'' of Hollywood movies and tourist destinations. Using digital technology, he inserts Samurai warriors and other figures in traditional Japanese costume into re-enactments of American frontier gunfights and pioneer life. This cultural crossover is both amusing and disconcerting in its blend of mythologies."

Visit the artists site here.

Koya Abe

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