By Michael O'Sullivan
Friday, Mar. 9, 2012
At 72, Roger Shimomura is the oldest of the seven artists in "Portraiture Now: Asian American Portraits of Encounter," a provocative examination of Asian American identity at the National Portrait Gallery. But the Japanese American painter's works - which incorporate cartoonish self-portraiture along with characters such as Hello Kitty and Pikachu - are among the liveliest and the most irreverent.
The irreverence has a sober side, too. Much of Shimomura's work has to do with memories of being interned with his family in a camp for Japanese Americans during World War II.
On Saturday at 2 p.m., Shimomura will give a gallery talk about his art and its themes. Interested participants should meet in the F Street lobby. "Portraiture Now" is on view through Oct. 14 at Eighth and F streets NW (Metro: Gallery Place-Chinatown). 202-633-8300. www.npg.si.edu. Free.