Fantasy II

Ben Kamihira

Ben Kamihira is best known for his provocative, erotic depictions of female nudes in domestic settings. In this self-portrait Kamihira presents himself holding a brush to canvas, commencing a painting. Directly behind his head floats an upside-down female nude fondling herself, the outline of her legs blurred, as if seen in motion. Characteristic of his mature painting stlye, the intensely observed realism of his self-portrait combines with the fantastic or irrational dreamlike space. Yet the highly erotic scene remains ambiguous: is this a fantasy, or a memory? Voluptuous pink amaryllis plants in full bloom float in mid-air on the right while leafy green palms dominate the foreground. The artist's outstretched left hand holds a fist full of brushes that points toward the viewer. Kamihira's face and ears are deeply flushed, as he sits half naked at his easel.
Artist
Date of Birth
(1925-2004)
Date
1976-85
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
50 x 36 in. (127 x 91.44 cm.)
Accession #
2006.20.1
Credit Line
Gift of Harriet B. Kravitz
Category
Subject
On View
No
On Loan
No