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Vince Aletti

I MISSED THE PERFORMANCE THAT ENDED WITH Hiroshi Sunairi pissing into a prop toilet at the Andrew Kreps Gallery in January 1999. I skipped the songs and outbursts at the February 2000 opening of his P.S. 1 studio space. I never listened to any of his cassette tapes. I did see his spread in the April 1999 issue of Playguy, in which the naked “young artist” (he claimed to be nineteen when he was in fact twenty-seven) photographed himself in the shower with a plump hard-on, though that’s probably beside the point, too.

But not entirely, because Sunairi’s photographs—or, more accurately, his photo collages and constructions—are the point. Like the Playguy pictures, which were sliced up and recycled into his artwork, the subject of virtually all of Sunairi’s photos is a version of himself: not the Japanese-born artist who’s been living in the United States (currently in New York)

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