yuka yamaguchi

i love yuka yamaguchi’s work.    it’s what frieda khalo would be making if she were alive and japanese.    gorgeously rendered colored pencil (often self) portraits that are seemingly innocent and disarmingly brutal.

i’m reproducing “my favorite neckless” 2008 colored pencils on paper, 11×14 inches.     beyond the play on words, jay brought the phrase “turtles all the way down” to my attention.     the story, in this case, as told by stephen hawkings in “a brief history of time” goes like this:

a well-known scientist (some say it was bertrand russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy.  he described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. at the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: “what you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise” the scientist gave a superior smile before replying, “what is the tortoise standing on?” “you’re very clever, young man, very clever,” said the old lady. “but it’s turtle all the way down!”

the story is used to illustrate religious/mythic myopia, but can also be read as meaning that you can never get to the bottom of a difficult question.

and of course there seussian reference to yertle the turtle…