General De Witt
oil on canvas
10 13/16 x 11 7/8 x 1 1/2 in. framed
Small painting completed in the style of an orange crate label; image is based on a photo of General John L. Dewitt, head of Western Defense Command & War Relocation Authority during World War II.These paintings by Ben Sakoguchi are part of the artist’s Orange Crate Label series. They mimic the brightly colored labels that were found on wooden produce cartons from the 1880s–1950s. To invoke the inspiration of these paintings, he even prefers they be installed in a vertical line as though stacked crates. Sakoguchi’s works relate to historical and current issues and events, depicting infamous characters or abuses of power. “When I paint with these labels,” he says, “it’s disarming, no matter the subject. People don’t want to be lectured about politics or race, so I use images and colors that soften the blow.” In this selection, Sakoguchi shows violent Chilean dictator August Pinochet and Gen. John L. DeWitt who, during WWII, advocated for and organized Japanese internment camps into which Sakoguchi and his family were forcibly relocated. Another shows the US Air Force stationed in a Thai base which was used as a launching pad for hundreds of bombing raids in Northern Vietnam.
American, 1938 -
Gift of Don Trevey to the Ken Trevey Collection of American Realist Prints
SAKOGUCHI, Ben and American, 1938 -, “SAKOGUCHI, Ben,” UCSB ADA Museum Omeka, accessed September 26, 2023, http://art-collections.museum.ucsb.edu/items/show/2252.