Which of his works do you think relate the most?
Devan Shimoyama: Pieces like the Death and Disaster series, which talks about pain and beauty in a really nuanced way relate to my more sculptural works, which pay homage to those who have suffered from police brutality. Warhol’s series re-iterates and represents famous deaths. Images of death have been so heavily spread in mainstream media that it’s almost become normalised. Warhol beautified them to point to that issue. I saw footage on social media of a police officer shoot and kill a boy around the corner from where I was living in Pittsburgh. Coming from that point of trauma, those images have a different type of triggering effect, it’s much more personal to me. Like Warhol, I use beauty to talk about these raw topics, but more as a coping mechanism and less so as a reiteration. I use a lot of visual language to pay homage to the victims of brutality. There are a few sculptural works in the show that use the tradition of urban memorials, so thinking of how in certain urban neighbourhoods they use DIY ephemera to commemorate a place where someone was killed.
Devon Shimoyama: Cry Baby is on at Pittsburgh’s The Andy Warhol Museum from October 13 – March 17 2019. You can find out more info here