Yoko’s Last Day At The Bathhouse


YokosLastDayAtTheBathhouse

 

Yoko’s Last Day At The Bathhouse, 2012
Acrylic on Canvas on Hardboard
48.5’ x 42.25’
“Yoko’s Last Day at the Bathhouse” was heavily influenced from my life as a child. This piece of memory bridges my Japanese heritage and the eventual assimilation into the American culture. Borrowing Japanese aesthetics and Western techniques, it parallels my early life. “Yoko” has been a common avatar in many of my paintings. Even though “Yoko” is the name of my mother, this avatar isn’t a clear representation of neither her nor anybody else. This woman embodies the relationship of the mother and the child, with dissident bond stemming from the Freudian psychoanalytical theory of the Oedipus complex. Though there is no sexual intent behind the very open nudity, the widely transparent and bold imagery reflects the comfort I had with my mother at the bathhouses in Japan. At such a young age, I went with my mother to these Japanese bathhouses in the women’s quarters (Japanese bathhouses are separated by men and women sections) fully naked. The sense of liberation and cleansing from being at the bathhouse evokes childhood happiness that has been lost after my life in America. It was my last day in Japan when my mother told me we were going to the local bathhouse before realizing we were heading to the airport to fly to America as a result of a divorce between my parents. Through careful deceit, my mother took action with the intention to protect my well being and me. It is that dedication and motherly instincts that takes a physical and emotional toll exhibited by her rough hands.

Diego Rivera "Sleeping Family."

Diego Rivera “Sleeping Family.”

Midnight: The Hours of the Rat; Mother and Sleepy Child, Edo period (1615–1868), ca. 1790Kitagawa Utamaro (Japanese, 1753–1806)
Polychrome woodblock print

H. 14 3/8 in. (36.5 cm), W. 9 5/8 in. (24.4 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1922 (JP1278)

Kitagawa Utamaro, one of the most prolific artists of the genre of portrayal of beautiful women, was extremely interested in images of mother and child in daily life. This print belongs to a series entitled Fuzoku Bijin Tokei (Women's Daily Customs). To illustrate midnight, Utamaro has chosen a mother who sleepily emerges from her mosquito net to attend to her child, who rubs the sleep from his eyes. The personal, quotidian nature of the subject exemplifies the new interest in the individual that emerged during the Edo period. The MET http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/jp1278

Midnight: The Hours of the Rat; Mother and Sleepy Child, Edo period (1615–1868), ca. 1790
Kitagawa Utamaro (Japanese, 1753–1806)
Polychrome woodblock print
H. 14 3/8 in. (36.5 cm), W. 9 5/8 in. (24.4 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1922 (JP1278)
Kitagawa Utamaro, one of the most prolific artists of the genre of portrayal of beautiful women, was extremely interested in images of mother and child in daily life. This print belongs to a series entitled Fuzoku Bijin Tokei (Women’s Daily Customs). To illustrate midnight, Utamaro has chosen a mother who sleepily emerges from her mosquito net to attend to her child, who rubs the sleep from his eyes. The personal, quotidian nature of the subject exemplifies the new interest in the individual that emerged during the Edo period. The MET http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/jp1278

 

Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the...

Whistler. Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Artist’s Mother. 1871. Carlyle liked this painting, and sat for Whistler in a similar pose. Still relevant after all these years The Baltimore Sun, March 16, 1997 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

Dorthea Lange “Migrant Mother.” This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Malay Wikipedia for the 1st week, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

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About Julian Peña

I'm a visual artist and student currently in progress to attaining a Bachelors of Fine Arts. I've been creating fantastical works of art since I was at the age of 13 years old. My work is transcendent beyond the material world and life itself. The paintings are polychromatic and visually exciting, while still maintaining a level of harmony. The subjects in many of these works of art may not exist at all despite what we perceive. It is a play on perception, an attempt to engage the viewers. I has earned numerous scholarships, participated in several group exhibitions, and already organized my own solo exhibition (CMYK, 2011). My meticulous and unique style is visually arresting. New ideas are constantly being examined and then visually communicated. Come check out my works at www.julianpena.com! I am is also currently part of the 253 Collective (a co-op) in downtown Tacoma. I currently live and work out of my loft in downtown Tacoma, WA.

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