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Japanese-born Akemi Maegawa’s intrigue with the fried egg began as a phrase lost in translation. The American breakfast staple is medama in her native language, or “fried eyeball,” says Maegawa. She learned the phrase “sunny side up” when she came to the United States. This fascination with breakfast language resulted in Your Sunny Side Should Be Up Chair, a 12-by-12-foot carpet of furry fried egg on the gallery floor of Irvine Contemporary, and the humorous centerpiece of Maegawa’s first solo exhibition, “Invisible, Inc.” Visitors are encouraged to remove their shoes, sit near the yolk, and meditate. Maegawa’s show is a collection of clever tongue-in-cheek works that comment on the nature of the art object and commercialization. In her “Size Matters” series, tiny ceramic statues of fast food, the White House, and genitalia hang adjacent to massive gallery placards that overwhelm Irvine’s walls. Seeing the tag overpower the art forces viewers to rethink their idea of the object through Maegawa’s wry lens.
The exhibition is on view from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays to Saturday, March 29, at Irvine Contemporary, 1412 14th St. NW. Free. 202-332-8767.