Kota Ezawa: The History of Photography Remix

  • Kota Ezawa: The History of Photography Remix revisits Ezawa’s iconic series of the same title, bringing together a suite of lightboxes that draw from some of the medium’s most canonical images — including seminal works of art, potent photojournalistic moments, and technological advancements in the development of the photography. In these works, the Oakland-based multimedia artist creates a recognizable yet reimagined version of each photograph, providing a succinct “highlights reel” of our collective memory — or his version of it.
  • In an historical accounting that is both subjective and seductive, well-known works by groundbreaking photographers — Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film...
    Kota Ezawa

    Untitled Film Still, 2005

    Lightbox: 22.5 x 28.5 x 3 inches

    AP2 (from an edition of 5 + 2 AP)

    $14,000
    In an historical accounting that is both subjective and seductive, well-known works by groundbreaking photographers — Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills, Nan Goldin’s The Ballad of Sexual Dependencyand Hiroshi Sugimoto’s theaters, among them — are juxtaposed with unforgettable moments from photojournalism, such as Marilyn Monroe’s last sitting in 1962, and J.R. Eyerman’s famous Life magazine photograph of an enraptured 1950s audience watching a 3-D movie.
  • “I believe that stylization can transform an image from a means of representation to a direct solicitation of the viewers’ emotion.”

    Kota Ezawa

     

  • To create these works, Ezawa recasts and 'remixes' each original photograph in his signature pared-down style, using digital tools to...
    Kota Ezawa

    Nan and Brian in Bed, 2013

    Lightbox: 20.5 x 30.5 x 3 inches

    AP2 (from an edition of 5 + 2 AP)

    $15,000
    To create these works, Ezawa recasts and "remixes" each original photograph in his signature pared-down style, using digital tools to render it by hand. In this flattened visual encyclopedia, complex imagery is reduced to its most essential, two-dimensional elements: forms and figures are stripped of shade, contour and texture, becoming at once visually iconic and emotionally ambiguous. By ironing out his subject matter and removing it from its original context, Ezawa encourages us to see these images anew, provoking a visceral response as if encountering them for the first time.
  • "Ezawa’s cartoonish, slightly funky sense of line and palette reminds the viewer that what is shared in a culture of images is the illusion of cohesion and meaning, and the quirkiness of his individualized handiwork reminds the viewer that there is no image, however familiar, from 'out there' that is not also a highly personalized, idiosyncratically experienced image 'in here.'"
    Collection Notes, Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Ezawa has described The History of Photography Remix as a kind of “visual hip hop”, sampling and remixing, selecting and...
    Kota Ezawa

    Leap into the Void, 2005

    Lightbox: 20.5 x 24.5 x 3 inches

    Edition of 5 + 2 AP

    $14,000
    Ezawa has described The History of Photography Remix as a kind of “visual hip hop”, sampling and remixing, selecting and reinterpreting familiar moments from a vast array of sources to “turn the linear event of the history of photography into an open-ended DJ session.” In Ezawa’s edits, explains the writer Alison Bing, “we detect the manufacture of history, the makings of selective memory. What turns film into news is not so different from what turns film into art: it’s about curation, selecting and juxtaposing imagery until it appears to represent a historical continuum.”
  • "With his History, Ezawa kills photography with the computer in order to resuscitate it and give it back its original innocence."

    Lars Bang Larsen and Chuz Martinez

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  • KOTA EZAWA, b. 1969 | Lives and works in Oakland, CA

    KOTA EZAWA

    b. 1969 | Lives and works in Oakland, CA
    Kota Ezawa's work has been exhibited in and collected by leading institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Museum of Modern Art in New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; Baltimore Art Museum, MD; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA; and the Art Institute of Chicago, IL. Kota Ezawa: The Crime of Art, a solo exhibition of his works from a series of the same title, opens at the Georgia Museum of Art in July 2021.