Michiko Kon: Mistress of the dark
BY JOHN L. TRAN
The abominable beauty of Michiko Kon’s work is back.
In the early 1990s Kon was one of the first female photographic artists from Japan to achieve widespread international recognition. Her work combined a shocking use of animal parts with meticulous technique in a way that was both unsettling and visually seductive. She reached prominence around the time that Damien Hirst first exhibited his shark in a tank of formaldehyde, but some years after Joel-Peter Witkin had started using animal and human body parts in staged photographic tableaux in the ’80s.
Kon’s “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark” vibe, however, makes the British superstar’s butterfly works look like the self-comforting behavior of Frankenstein’s monster sticking stuff to a wall, while compared to Witkin’s darker and more stridently transgressive work, there is a Rococo-like decorativeness and wit to what she does.
Click here to continue reading.