Iona Rozeal Brown
lives and works
New York, USA
BFA, San Francisco Art Institute, USA, 1999
MFA, Yale University School of Art, New Haven, USA, 2002
about the artist
Iona Rozeal Brown heartily embraces the transnational currents that course through our increasingly flat globe, and produces a series of hybrid pictures that she refers to as her “afro-asiatic allegories.” To most, only a tentative connection exists between contemporary black hip-hop culture and Edo Japan—Brown dispels this falsehood by unearthing a wealth of similarities between the two visual traditions and overlaps in their ideological roots. She finds a common language, especially in the heroine—independent of her gender, race, or class—who seeks her identity and role in an idealized, decadent society. Fruitful by-products of this investigation are the discourses generated on the question of appropriation, fetishization, and cultural stereotyping. The artist has held solo shows throughout the United States, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, the University of Arizona Museum of Art in Tucson, and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford. Her work has also been included in group exhibitions at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the Akron Museum of Art, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and the Armand Hammer Museum of Art in Los Angeles. The artist has received numerous prestigious grants, including the Presidential Grant at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn in 1997, the Camile Hanks Cosby Fellowship at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1999, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant and Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, both in New York in 2007, and the Joyce Foundation Award in 2009.