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Cao Xiaodong (Chinese, b.1961)
LOT ID: 67584
Mao and Bunny Girls, 2007

Oil, on canvas
70.9 х 70.9 in. (180.09 x 180.09 cm.)
Signed, other, in Chinese and dated '2007' lower right front margin. Signed again in Chinese and Pinyin, with title, year, and dimensions in cm on the back of the canvas.
Lot description
"Mao and Bunny Girls" (2007) is one of the largest and most visually exciting paintings by famed Chinese artist Cao Xiaodong, and belongs to his iconic "Proof of Youth” Series of figurative oil paintings, in which the artist speaks to the vast social and cultural differences between China and West in the 1960's. This painting is unframed and in excellent condition.

"Mao and Bunny Girls" brilliantly encapsulates the overall message of Cao's oeuvre, directly contrasting America's liberating "Sexual Revolution" of the 1960's with China's oppressive "Cultural Revolution" of the same era. Here, Hugh Hefner is replaced by a smiling Chairman Mao, who sits in the middle of a crowded room filled with Hefner's glamorous "Playboy Bunnies", each wearing a sexy, tight satin-corseted bodysuit and bunny-ears. Cao's finest paintings possess a muted colors, and here the soft lavender, green, and yellow color palette, cleverly heightening the false impression that we are viewing a faded vintage photograph and not a Contemporary, realist oil painting.

Cao paints by painstakingly applying thousands of tiny dots of oil paint directly onto the canvas by hand, taking weeks and months to complete a single work. Employing this pointillism technique and choice of iconography are also direct commentaries on East versus West--from a distance his paintings are an idealized Western Pop-Art realist portrait, yet up close his images dissolve into an abstract haze of traditional Chinese ink paintings. Another Contemporary embellishment is the "Proof of Youth" Series are the computer commands he includes in his narrative. In “Mao and Bunny Girls”, the artist includes computer code and prompts such as "EXITE" , as well as white crop lines and demarcations that appear when he is scanning and cropping the original photographs that comprise his source material.

The artist was born in China in 1961. Cao Xiaodong graduated from Industry Design College, Jiangnan University in 1982. Notable solo exhibitions include: 2009 "Cao Xiaodong Abstract Solo Exhibition", Egg Gallery, Beijing, China; 2008 "Cao Xiaodong Solo Exhibition", Ode Gallery, Singapore and "Save As", Virginia Miller Gallery, Miami, USA. Selected Group Exhibitions: 2011 "History and Future", Soemo Fine Arts, Beijing, China and in 2010 "Link," at the Shanghai Mingyuan Art Museum, China and again in 2010 "Trace" ,Time Museum, Beijing and was also invited to exhibit at "The 25th Asia International Art Exhibition", Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The artist lives and works in Beijing, China.
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