This taxidermied deer has been completely transformed through the artist’s use of variably sized “PixCell” beads, a term he invented. PixCell combines the idea of a “pixel,” the smallest unit of a digital image, with that of a “cell.” Whether intentionally or unintentionally on the artist’s part, PixCell-Deer#24 resonates with a type of religious painting known as a Kasuga Deer Mandala, which features a deer—the messenger animal of Shinto deities—posed similarly with its head turned to the side, and with a round sacred mirror on its back. In Japanese art, the deer is often depicted as a companion of ancient sages and has auspicious and poetic associations.
[ SCAI The Bathhouse , Tokyo, 2011; sold to MMA]
New York. Japan Society. "Bye Bye Kitty!!! Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art," March 18, 2011–June 12, 2011.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Designing Nature: The Rinpa Aesthetic in Japanese Art," May 26, 2012–January 13, 2013.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Poetry of Nature in Japanese Art: Edo Period Paintings from the Fishbein-Bender Collection," February 27, 2018–January 27, 2019.