Yi Chen explores different cultural beauty standards and combined them in amalgamated forms. In a statement for the Chinese American Arts Council, Chen expressed that his "works meld together facial features of models and media figures to create characters that form a new hybridized vision of the human race."
Chen’s paintings resemble magazine collages. The artist used oil paint to render the seemingly disjointed eyes, ears, mouth, and nose as if each came through from a different source. Along with distorting the figure, Chen plays with blending feminine and masculine facial features. In the title, Easy, Breezy, Beautiful Cover Boy-Refurbished, Chen manipulates the famous Cover Girl slogan, perhaps challenging the universality of mass media and commercially sanctioned ideals. What influence does the title have on your understanding of the painting? How does Chen’s work relate to Chike Obeagu’s collage, displayed nearby, in terms of formal qualities, material, and message?
From the 2020 exhibition A Space for Dialogue 98, Vision 2020: What Do You See?, curated by Devon Mifflin '21, Levinson Intern for Campus Engagement
Vision 2020: What Do You See?, A Space for Dialogue 98, Devon D. Mifflin, Levinson Intern, Class of 2021, Alvin P. Gutman Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 11-March 1, 2020.
Devon D. Mifflin, Levinson Intern for Campus Engagement, Class of 2021, A Space for Dialogue 98, Vision 2010: What Do You See,? Hanover, New Hampshire: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, 2020, ill, cover,
Devon D. Mifflin, A Space for Dialogue 98, Vision 2020, What Do You See?, Hanover, New Hampshire: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, 2020.
Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, New York, date unknown; private collection; given to present collection, 2018.
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