Devan Shimoyama: What to See During EXPO Chicago

Marko Gluhaich, FRIEZE, April 7, 2022


Devan Shimoyama’s self-portrait Tempérance (2022) – now showing as part of ‘A Counterfeit Gift Wrapped in Fire’ at Kavi Gupta – depicts the artist as a blue angel with bejewelled eyes pouring water into an overflowing glass, like the subject of the temperance tarot card diluting its wine. The other paintings and sculptures in the show are similarly striking in their bright colours and use of materials like sequins and glitter, La Mort (Death, 2022) also derives from its eponymous tarot card: a grim reaper squats on the shore of a sequined river next to a decapitated head and Rihanna’s disembodied hand, recognizable from the singer’s distinctive tattoos. Says Shimoyama in the press release: ‘I think about the death and rebirth of [Rihanna’s] career. People wanted more, but she pivoted and didn’t deliver in that capacity. I’m going through similar shifts in my life that are substantial. This is a moment of rebirth in a lot of different ways.’

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