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Yue Minjun

The Duke and I, 2009
Lithography
Edition of 130
80 x 120 cm (31.5 x 47.2 in.)
Signed and numbered
In mint condition
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"The Duke and I" belongs to the "Snatched Ecstasy" collection, a set of 20 lithographs in a brushed aluminum case and produced in a limited edition of 132 rare books. The collection is accompanied by a set of poems by the renowned Poet Fernando Arrabal. Immediately humorous and sympathetic, Yue Minjun’s paintings offer a light-hearted approach to philosophical inquiry and contemplation of existence.

"At first I thought an artist always added things to a canvas but didn't remove anything, but, if a part of a picture that is familiar to everyone is changed, it produces a special feeling. You establish a contrast. And force viewers to think about the figures." — Yue Minjun

Often basing his compositions on well known European masterpieces and iconic Chinese art, Yue subverts the grandiose aura of art history through his adaptation of pop aesthetics. Using both the exaggerated expressiveness of cartooning and the stylistic rendering of graphic illustration, Yue depicts his cloned doppelgangers as contorted and grotesque, all scalded pink skin and maniacal toothy cackles. Using laughter as a denotation of violence and vulnerability, Yue’s paintings balance a zeitgeist of modern day anxiety with an Eastern philosophical ethos, positing the response to the true nature of reality as an endless cynical guffaw.