Nikki S. Lee is a master of the quick-change. She peers back at you from every wall of her current exhibition at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, clad one moment in fishnets and fuchsia hair, the next in a conservative frock and Prada pumps. Lee, a 30-year-old Korean artist based in New York, has spent the last four years exploring the nature of identity and examining our drive to fit in. Her MO is to select a subculture or stereotype, transform her own appearance and mannerisms to gain entree into that group, and then hang out with its members for a period of weeks or months. Among other things, Lee has been a skate rat, an old lady, a lesbian, a punk, a Latina, a yuppie, and an exotic dancer. A friend takes snapshots of each of Lee's encounters, which then get enlarged and printed at the local photo lab. The time code emblazoned on many of these photographs reminds us that they are not precious objects, but rather documentation of an... More >>>
What We Do for Art: Nikki S. Lee practicing for The Skateboarders Project.