Roger Shimomura

August 29, 2013, 9:24am

The Real Deal: Roger Shimomura’s American Knockoff

A knockoff usually refers to a copy of a more expensive original, bringing to mind tables of faux designer handbags and leather jackets on street corners. When painter Roger Shimomura creates a knockoff, his is a human version—specifically, a person, or a punch to the face, literally knocking you off. The artist mashes up imagery from American pop icons, Kabuki actors, Korean and Japanese manga characters, Hello Kitty, Lichtenstein-style faces and Chinese propaganda, into in-your-face, self-portrait battles between himself and the stereotypes that portray Asian American people as less valuable citizens, or “American knockoffs,” the title of his new show. These works from 2009-2012 on view at Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle, WA, continue the battles Shimomura has fought for over four decades, a testament to the persistence of both the artist’s pursuit and the forces he is up against. - Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor

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