Nu Bleu, toothpaste on canvas (Colgate Max Fresh Cool Mint, Crest Citrus Splash Whitening+ and CloseUp Ultra Cinnamon), 2012.
“When Blue Nude was publicly exhibited soon after it was painted [by Matisse], it became the source of controversy that involved issues of race, race relations, and colonialism. Complaints by critics and viewers that the race of the figure in Blue Nude could not be identified, complicated the issue of “the Other.” The ability to identify “the Other” was crucial to the mindset of colonizers, and a major aspect of the colonization program.”
In 2012, I made a pastiche of “Nu Bleu” using various brands of toothpaste in order to revisit the original controversy of the painting. This time however, the “blue” is replaced by heavy brand names, outlining the new complexities of identity politics that are now tied with tremendous image consumption, all within an ever-increasing, late-stage capitalism overdose.