Heji Shin - The Lone Survivor


Heji Shin
The Lone Survivor, 2023
Three-color screenprint on Coventry Rag paper
20 x 16 inches (50.8 x 40.6 cm)
Framed: 22 1/4 x 18 1/4 x 1 1/2 inches (56.5 x 46.4 x 3.8 cm)
Edition of 30, 6 AP

Printed by Du-Good Press, New York
Published by 52 Walker

Oscillating fluidly between the commercial and fine-art realms, New York–based artist Heji Shin (b. 1976) has skirted the boundaries of convention, creating images that challenge judgments of taste vis-à-vis fashion, celebrity, and sexuality. Revealing our scopophilic tendencies while refusing to essentialize or pass moral judgment on her subjects, Shin’s eye mines the prohibited and the liminal to deconstruct notions of propriety.

The present print relates to work created by Shin for THE BIG NUDES, the artist’s solo exhibition at 52 Walker, which takes its name from Helmut Newton's 1981 career-making body of work known as Big Nudes. In her series, Shin recasts Newton's erotic subjects as fleshy pink pigs who assume the poses of female fashion models, their epidermal layers and hair appearing uncannily humanoid. This body of work troubles and transforms our ideas of how the genre of portraiture purports to reveal alternative versions of the self, shifting the paradigms of what constitutes the "physical" and casting doubt on how we perceive so-called reality on different levels. In The Lone Survivor, Shin’s first ever screenprint, the artist additionally references Andy Warhol’s well-known silkscreened paintings that often depicted celebrities and politicians as well as her series of large-scale studio portraits featuring controversial hip-hop superstar Kanye West. The title refers to the fact that the pig featured in the print is from a meat farm in upstate New York.