Kota Ezawa re-presents iconic moments from the media and the history of photography in animated videos, slide projections, lightboxes, and prints. Each project graphically reduces source material such as a 1930s crime scene captured by infamous news photographer Weegee or the memorable on-screen terror of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to explore the mutable role of the camera and photograph in the reception and understanding of reality.
Ezawa’s schematic renderings, realized through hand-tracing and computer manipulation, stage a critique of photography without actually presenting it. The resulting cartoon-like representations focus on human details, such as lips or eyes, while sky or clothing remains undistinguished. Ezawa’s simplified versions of photographs, which are themselves already subjective takes on the real, paradoxically amplify emotive content and create a hyper-real.
Based in San Francisco, CA, Kota Ezawa was born in Cologne, Germany in 1969. He received his MFA from Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, in 2003. He was featured in a solo exhibition at Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT (2005) and been included in group shows at Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2006); Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France (2005); and The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (2005).