The blotchy, salty self-portrait that confronts you as you enter Tadanori Yokoo’s exhibition of recent work “B29 and Homeland: From My Childhood to Andy Warhol” (2018) has a hangman’s noose in the top left corner. This recalls one of the artist’s most renowned works, the 1965 “Having Reached a Climax at the Age of 29, I Was Dead,” a vividly colored and exuberant silkscreen print that juxtaposed the image of a hanged man with the backdrop of the Rising Sun flag design.
While the earlier graphic design inflected work is gleefully offensive, the self-portrait is more muted and reflective: The background is black, and Yokoo’s chin nestles in the Y shape formed by his hand. His face looks to be on fire, with his hair doubling as billows of black and gray smoke; his expression is halfway between pensive and dumbfounded. “What the hell have I done?,” he could be asking; or, as he is looking straight out at us, “Who the devil are you?”