Google by Wang Guangyi

Wang Guangyi’s paintings combine the ideological power of communist propaganda with the seductive allure of advertising. Juxtaposing revolutionary images with consumer logos, Wang’s canvases provoke a duplicitous message, highlighting the conflict between China’s political past and commercialized present and future.

Signed

Yes

Created

2007

Size

50×50

Medium

Digital c print photograph on paper

Presentation

Edition of 3

Description

Google by Wang Guangyi

Wang Guangyi (Chinese, b.1957) creates works in the Chinese style of Political Pop.Born in Harbin, China, Wang graduated from the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts in 1984, and grew up in an environment saturated with the propagandistic imagery of the Maoist regime in China. Wang’s work draws upon rebellious and revolutionary motifs from Cultural Revolution-era posters, brochures, and other materials.

Though Wang Guangyi’s work has erroneously been associated with Chinese Political Pop, in reality one of the main themes of his art can be found in its relationship to the transcendent. Juxtaposing revolutionary images with consumer logos, Wang’s canvases provocate with their duplicitous message, highlighting the conflict between China’s political past and commercialised present. Stylistically merging the government enforced aesthetic of agitprop with the kitsch sensibility of American pop, Guangyi’s work adopts the cold-war language of the 60s to ironically examine the contemporary polemics of globalisation.

Through his critique, Guangyi’s paintings weave intricate narratives, implicating the role of the artist as an active participant (both as subjugator and subservient) in economic and social policy. Guangyi treads a very delicate line between moral dictum and capitalist endorsement; the interpretation of his paintings alternates with the subjectivity of context. Amalgamating, confusing, and blurring opposing ideological beliefs, Guangyi’s billboard sized canvases readily sell out national valour, while simultaneously devaluing status symbol luxury for the proletariat cause.

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