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  • Provenance

    Thomas Nordanstad Gallery, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    Meant to provide comfort and boost morale, "Nose Art" was a popular mode of expression from WWII to the Vietnam War. Emblazoned on the sides of United States military aircraft, these paintings declared the ideology, hopes and increasingly overt sexual fantasies of the pilot and crew. By the time of the Korean War, plane pin-ups had become more common and less clothed, revealing a fantasy of the ultimate war spoil: a willing figure to be dominated without risk or resistance. In Mongoloid—Version B-29 (Miss Megook #1), Korean-American artist Michael Joo complicates the expected symbol of pliant sexuality by presenting not a voluptuous woman but feminized Asian man. The coyly posed artist alludes to the historically gendered relationship of Orient and Occident, wherein the former was approached as an entity to be conquered and controlled. In sporting a feminine disguise, Joo also manages to unsettle by conjuring and twisting together two contemporary and pervasive stereotypes: that of the hyper-sensualized Asian Woman, a figure whose image has long been disseminated as silent and consumable, and that of the Asian Man whose own sexuality remains persistently voiceless within popular American culture. Translated as “Miss America,” Joo’s Miss Megook conflates man, woman and race, and in doing so, mirrors the layered oppressions and identities dictated throughout American history.

334

Mongoloid – Version B-29 (Miss Megook #1)

1993-1996
Photolithograph.
42 x 55 in. (106.7 x 139.7 cm).
Signed, titled, dated and numbered lower edge. This work is from an edition of 8.

Estimate
$7,000 - 9,000 

Saturday @ Phillips

25 Oct 2008, Noon
New York