An artist I like a lot Stella Lai is opening a show in Beijing at the end of September called “Fat Children Ruined My Life” at the F2 Gallery. If you happen to be in L.A. on Saturday, September 6, from 11 AM to 4 PM, you can preview Stella’s newest work before she ships it off to China by stopping in at her open studio located at 742 N Broadway (2nd Floor).
How did I learn about Stella Lai’s work? A couple years ago, I was meandering haphazardly around one of the art fairs in New York when a colorful, detailed piece of art at the Nathan Larramendy Gallery booth caught my eye. I stopped to ask Nathan a few questions about the work and learned that Stella paints Asian women who lighten their skin, color their hair, and do surgical procedures to make themselves appear more western looking. I liked it! Then I learned that Stella was a good friend of and had shown with another one of my favorite artists iona rozeal brown! Iona’s work merges Japanese and African-American hip-hop culture and references Japanese kids who paint their skin browner so they can resemble their favorite hip-hop artists. Sold!
Jessica Lange interviews Iona in the June/July 2008 issue of New American Paintings.