Fakirs

image for Fakirs
Exhibition Label
Although labeled an enemy alien by the U.S. government during World War II, Kuniyoshi affirmed his allegiance to his adopted country by contributing propaganda posters to the war effort. But in the early 1950s, the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) and Senator Joseph McCarthy were investigating citizens they accused of communist sympathies. Kuniyoshi’s disillusionment is apparent in Fakirs. The evil-looking clown who wears a mask and pointed nose trumpets his dominance. Beside him a smaller, sad clown faces the audience/viewer; another, barely visible, peers out from behind a banner.
Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection, 2014
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Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department
Painting and Sculpture
1951
Object number
1986.6.93
Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation
Artist
Yasuo Kuniyoshi, born Okayama, Japan 1889-died New York City 1953
Topic
Figure group
Figure\head
Performing arts\circus\clown
Medium
oil on canvas
Dimensions
50 1/4 x 32 1/4 in. (127.7 x 82.0 cm)
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Type
Painting