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Matinee: Kota Ezawa Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

8 January 2022

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 430th in our series of Saturday matinees today: MIA Artist in Residence Kota Ezawa.

This 3:34 video from the Minneapolois Institute of Art features an interview with the museum's 2009 artist in residence, photographer Kota Ezawa.

"Artists in residence worked with specialists from across the museum's curatorial departments, exploring the collections, engaging in dialogues across times and cultures, and providing visitors with new perspectives on the museum's richly diverse historical collections," the liner notes explain.

Which was the perfect collaboration for Ezawa.

Ezawa focuses on both manual and digital techniques to "translate iconic images from television, cinema and art history into minimal yet evocative versions of the originals."

This collaboration with MIA resulted in his Art ReMix and The History of Photography project, a 35mm slide show of 40 images that are each a drawing of a famous photograph in the history of the art.

He calls it a remix because it makes him feel like a music DJ, playing a collection of images instead of music. He finds the museum a "really incredible record store" because it has so many images in its collection.

You'll no doubt recognize the photographs that some of these posterized drawings are based on. Be forewarned that some of the photojournalism may elude you. Still, it's a fun game to play.

With a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MFA from Stanford University, his work is represented in numerous public collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C., Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Museum of Modern Art in New York and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

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