Iona Rozeal Brown is a contemporary American painter best known for her use of traditional ukiyo-e print techniques to meld Japanese folklore, geisha, kabuki, and samurai imagery with hip-hop references and African-American culture. Born in 1966 in Washington, D.C., Brown went on to study first at San Francisco Art Institute and then at Yale University, where she received her MFA in painting.
She discovered her interest in her preferred subject matter as an undergraduate, saying “there was something about the way [a geisha] stood. I said to myself, ‘Who is this with so much pride...as a hooker?’” Brown then honed in on the subject, and has continuously explored geisha figures in several of her paintings.
She has participated at exhibitions at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, The Studio Museum of Harlem in New York, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, among others. Today, the artist’s works are in the collections of the Milwaukee Art Museum, the New Museum in New York, the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., and the Rubell Family Collection in Miami, among others. Brown lives and works in New York, NY.
Iona Rozeal Brown, El Oso Me Pregunto, (the bear asked me), acrylic on paper, 2016, 40 x 30 in
Iona Rozeal Brown, kaatchi, the incubator, 2010, prints and multiples, pigment print, 24 x 39.5 in., 61 x 100.3 cm.