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Jonathan Yeo "Porn in the U.S.A." Exhibition Recap

British artist Jonathan Yeo opened his first exhibition “Porn in the U.S.A.” this past week.

British artist Jonathan Yeo opened his first exhibition “Porn in the U.S.A.” this past week. Back in 2007, he gained notoriety when the White House reneged on a commission to which Yeo subsequently went ahead anyways and created a highly controversial piece. The unofficial piece featured the likeness of George W. Bush comprised of a mosaic of pornographic images taken from magazines. His latest work features some new pieces which include some well-known subjects including Tiger Woods as well as the aforementioned Bush piece.

Celebrated for his skillfully oil-painted portraits of famous subjects, his sitters have included Dennis Hopper, Nicole Kidman and Tony Blair. In 2007, Yeo’s work took a new direction when the White House reneged on a commission for him to paint a portrait of President George W. Bush. He went ahead with the picture anyway, creating a collaged likeness out of hardcore pornographic magazines. The image was unveiled at Lazarides London in August 2007 and immediately became notorious around the world.

Yeo has continued to explore the possibilities of collage and has immortalized a series of Twenty-First Century icons including Lucian Freud, Hugh Hefner and Paris Hilton. He has also created original images featuring nudes and botanical studies, the beauty of which contradict their source material.

The visual trickery of collage allows Yeo to deceive the viewer as the explicit tone is disregarded at first glance, yet on closer inspection the realization that the perfect flesh tones are in fact flesh writhing in passion.

This exhibition features his newest and most provocative works to date, including some surprising new portraits and a version of his controversial wallpaper design unveiled recently at the new Soho House members-only club in West Hollywood.

Porn in the USA is Jonathan Yeo’s first solo exhibition in the US.

Jonathan Yeo “Porn in the U.S.A.” Exhibition
July 9th – August 8th, 2010
320-330 North Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Photography: Brandon Shigeta

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