Aleta  Lee

An emerging Chinese American artist from San Francisco, California, Aleta Lee applies socially engaged practices in her work that challenge systemic conditions of art and life. Drawing from a background in screen-printing, installation, and advertising, her artwork embodies variants of mixed media and intersecting layers of conceptual and visual design. Aleta received a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Art Practice from U.C. Berkeley in 2010, followed by a Master’s degree in Arts Politics at New York University in 2013. In between her academic degrees, she spent a year and half in China working in the international marketing industry. This experience has played a major influence in her creative vision and critique of art’s relationship to media and popular culture. Currently living in New York City, she continues to create and experiment in her Brooklyn studio, while also organizing community art projects to address the lack of access to the arts.

Mo Money, Mo Problems

2013, Silk Screen

Description: Fifty 1 dollar bills (USD) silk screened in clear gloss acrylic with the phrase "Are you happy?" Synopsis: Mo Money, Mo Problems is a silkscreen installation that explores notions of capitalism, “wealth,” and the cost of happiness as it pertains to American culture. Especially in a society that obsesses over celebrities and their lavish lifestyles portrayed in media (including magazines, TV - reality & entertainment shows, and music videos), capitalism has motivated people to equate happiness as a form of commodity that can be purchased and consumed, rather than contentment in the intangible and priceless. Addressing the life long question, “Can money buy happiness?” that popular culture has deemed to answer “yes,” this piece confronts viewers to reevaluate what “happiness” means and in what ways happiness has been recontextualized in society.

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