los-angeles

Les Biller

Ceeje Gallery

Western art­ists have been seduced by the ele­gance, simplicity, stylization, and immediacy of Japanese art: Biller, unique­ly, has fastened upon its eroticism. Lustily, he translates it into English. Where oriental art is flat, his is paint­erly, where its colors are muted, his are the shades of the backdrop cur­tain at the New Follies. His attitude is that of a sailor on leave in Tokyo com­bined with that of an adolescent crazy in love with the exotic. In Biller’s hands their calligraphic arabesque becomes a gesture describing a sexy dame. Their perspective, as far as Biller is concerned, is flipped up to provide easier access to the ground or the bed. Japanese art believes in artifice; Biller, with apparent artlessness, ex­plains why a white-faced Hiroshige geisha has her upper lip rolled above her teeth—she is making it with a dragon, her white makeup drips. Lovely oriental landscapes,

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