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Ward Yoshimoto was born in 1960 in Los Angeles, California. Growing up in the industrial suburbs of L.A., Yoshimoto felt the polarizing forces of his Japanese heritage and the growing plasticity of the Suburban American dream. Drawing on the turbulent social and political landscape of his youth, his encyclopedic … Read More
Ward Yoshimoto was born in 1960 in Los Angeles, California. Growing up in the industrial suburbs of L.A., Yoshimoto felt the polarizing forces of his Japanese heritage and the growing plasticity of the Suburban American dream. Drawing on the turbulent social and political landscape of his youth, his encyclopedic knowledge of art history and pop culture, and varied experiences ranging from traditional brush-painting to film making, and commercial photography, Ward Yoshimoto’s sculptures layer the iconic, the super-real and the ridiculous to create a new brand of suburban folk art.

Yoshimoto uses the immediately recognizable to reevaluate the conventional props of white-picket identity and constructs unpredictable and meaningful memorials of iconoclasm, hypocrisy and possibility. His pieces are at once complex and strikingly simple, letting the interwoven meanings of often-contradictory elements speak to the viewer’s own referential makeup. “The building process in creating the piece reflects the same laborious actions that we undertake in our own thinking, and our thinking interweaves with the artist’s perceptions and reflections” .

With a studio-treasure cove brimming with artifacts of Americana rescued from thrift stores, flea markets and junk shops, along with many childhood personal objects, Yoshimoto’s pieces layer new meaning into time-specific material, realizing original visions from dated ideals. By combining his early west coast influences of object assemblage with his ideas and relationships to east coast formalism and use of materials and process. His scrap-gathering impulse is a commentary on the role of idolatry in American culture and on how we create and attribute context, relevance and meaning. Despite his keenly subversive take on staples of everyday life, Yoshimoto’s work does not bleed into gross parody, but rather prompts the creation of new narratives by allowing the objects’ macrocosmic meaning to resonate with each other through the viewer’s own interpretive framework. Read Less
Member Since: May 19, 2011