United States (b. 1969)
A contemporary artist who insists on the more traditional forms of art, Delia Brown has elevated the selfie into an art form. This is most evident in this self-portrait, in which she is eager to let us know that she “hearts painting,” with the caveat, featured within the heart, of the word “hate,” which shows her ambiguous attitude towards those she paints and even herself. In this painting, tongue-in-cheeked named Yo Picasso, she brilliantly replicates the great master’s colors of his own self portrait of the same name, and goes a long way in confirming the smugness of high art.
Raised by left-wing activist parents, Brown admits that she is uncomfortable with ostentatious luxury and that her work attempts to express ambivalence and discomfort with “producing objects of entertainment for the wealthy.” Her art, she states, highlights the self-indulgence and materialism of our society, a claim muddled by the fact that much of her work features some of her closest and most affluent friends in luxurious settings, highlighting their privileged lives, occasionally including her own image.
Whether Brown’s work mocks indulgent lives or simply expresses self-awareness is ultimately for the viewer to decide. It also provides a good opportunity for the viewers to consider the question for themselves.
About the Artist
Known for her figurative paintings, Delia Brown is a contemporary American artist, who lives and works in Los Angeles. Born in 1969 in Berkeley, CA, she received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2000.
She has had numerous solo shows at D’Amelio Terras, Margo Leavin Gallery, and Baldwin Gallery, among others. Her work is in the permanent collections of The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Seattle Art Museum, The Berkeley Art Museum, and the Pacific Film Archive. Her work is also found in many private and corporate collections.