Blood-red and decorated with both English and Japanese text, Hashimoto's portraits feature the artist as a thin, defiantly naked, edgy young thing gazing back at the viewer. The mixed-media works are laced with darkness and accessorized, strangely enough, with... fish. The fish, which appear to be real, occur as a chorus of decapitated heads painted a shocking red and jutting from one of Hashimoto's self-portraits, or as a filet lacquered to the painting surface.
The juxtaposition of a nude female and seafood is a loaded image, to say the least. Hashimoto's use of fish may signal a derogatory view of the female body or just be a reference to Asian culture. Hashimoto seems to have something feminist on her mind in this show largely focused on sculpture, but it is hard to follow a train of thought through Hashimoto's aesthetically and thematically rambling works.
Hashimoto supplements her three mixed-media portraits with larger, well-executed sculptural works done in a variety of materials including ceramic, wood and metal. Though Hashimoto's show never sticks very firmly to one idea, certain motifs reoccur. The artist seems especially intrigued by a combination of nature and the artificial in her frequent juxtapositions of wood and metal.
The centerpiece of Hashimoto's show is undoubtedly "Kings of Sorrow," an impressive, large-scale sculpture featuring four alligator-faced, suggestively shrieking creatures crafted from wood and scraps of metal, often soldered together in a quilt-like pattern. Like the lean, caterwauling members of Led Zeppelin, the four creatures provide a study in sexualized frenzy, balanced on metal peg-legs in place of limbs and flashing tongues and razor metal teeth through their parted mouths.
Several of Hashimoto's works are reminiscent of Donald Locke's similarly idiosyncratic primitive/modern creations. Hashimoto's four wailing demons in "Kings of Sorrow" show a compelling mix of the primal and the apocalyptic. Here she brings an engaging sense of animation and energy to her work that is missing from other pieces.
Mimi Hashimoto appears through Aug. 3 at Youngblood Gallery, 629 Glenwood Ave. 404-627-0393. www.youngbloodgallery.com. Hours: Thurs. 2-7 p.m., Fri.-Sun., noon-5 p.m.
Little harsh, in'it?
Oh that's right...I DID say enjoy yourself.
Go to hell Kombo!
When will you be accepting applicants for the 2014 competition?
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