Zhou Tiehai may be best known for campy paintings in which he transposes the head of Joe Camel, corporate mascot of the cigarette brand, onto paintings by Goya, Ingres, Manet, and other European masters. You might also recall his airbrushed portrait of Rudolph Giuliani, Libertas, Dei Te Serventi (Liberty, May God Protect You), 2002, which was included in “The American Effect: Global Perspectives on the United States, 1990–2003” at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, in 2003. The bottom corners of this canvas sport a pair of elephant-dung balls, a playful homage to Chris Ofili’s controversial painting The Holy Virgin Mary, 1996, which had inspired the then New York City mayor’s infamous attack on the Brooklyn Museum’s “Sensation” exhibition in 1999. Nor is Zhou averse to lampooning some of the art world’s sacred cows. Fame, power, and money in a hyperactive art marketplace
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