Relatively new to New York’s Chelsea gallery scene, B2OA recently debuted the highly saturated and frenetic paintings of Kazuki Umezawa. His exhibition “Empty god CORE” which opened last Thursday evening, was notably the multi-disciplinary artist’s first in the United States. His large scale paintings may look digitally Photoshopped, however they are hand painted and intensely planned collages- Umezawa’s reimaginings of modern day Japan, created by intricately cut and carefully placed paper images, combined with original drawings. He shares, “I collect images of characters that I am fond of on the Internet to create paintings by disassembling them and reconstructing them in new ways. For me, characters are small gods. This is probably a sensation that is connected to the fact that the concept of multitudinous gods has existed since antiquity in Japan. I feel love for the ephemeral images of those beautiful characters with vividly colored hair and eyes that are consumed and disappear on a daily basis.”
The result is like a mixture of the cartoonish subjects of Mr., combined with the chaos of pop artist Keiichi Tanaami (covered here), both influences on the young artist. Umezawa also possesses an eye for the future and the digital implications of his creations. He is currently creating an app that brings his paintings to life, where the individual collage pieces can be seperated and reapplied by the viewer. This idea also establishes a relationship between his art and the constantly changing social and artistic landscape of Japan.
“Empty god CORE” by Kazuki Umezawa is now on view at B2OA through November 15th, 2014.
Kazuki Umezawa with his art on opening night.