Since before he can remember, Brazil based painter Yusk Imai has had a curiosity about the human anatomy, and has always liked to paint figures, hands, and legs. This interest eventually led to his monochrome bodypainting project, called “Exoskeleton,” where he decided to try and paint on actual bodies, with all the distinct textures that he has created for his paintings, featured here on our blog. His canvas, or rather the bodies he uses as canvas, is his friends who volunteer for the project. For this special studio visit in Sao Paulo, I decided to be his ninth volunteer and have my right leg transformed into a work of art while I interviewed the artist.
Berlin-based artist Yusk Imai creates fragmented monochromatic figures that draw upon a variety of artistic styles. Previously featured on our blog, Imai’s work channels themes found in Art Nouveau, as in his ornate detailing, or Surrealism, in more bizarre renderings, to modern day comic books. Often, these themes address the idea of an uncontrollable world all around us, whether through psychology, symbolism, or the supernatural. In his most recent works, Imai tries to understand the psychology behind feelings like forgetfulness and distraction. These explorations often take him “elsewhere”, to some strange other-world within his subconscious that is governed by dark characters.
American-born Japanese artist Yusk Imai portrays highly stylized figures drawn from his dreams and mythology. Working in his studio in Berlin, Imai creates using a variety of materials and applications including sketches, painting on canvas and wood, photography and large scale wall murals. Often drawing in monochrome, ink on paper is his favorite medium. His images have been compared to Gustav Klimt for their use of intricate patterns and symbolism.
This year, the most popular posts on HiFructose.com invited us inside subway cars packed by monsters, navigated inverted architecture, and showed us a world of giant textile birds. We revisited established artists charting new territory like Robert Crumb and Rebecca Leveille and burgeoning, young talent breaking through. It was a year of both the vibrant and the somber, hether it was Daniel Merriam’s whimsical watercolors Yusk Imai’s monochrome bodypainting. We escaped in dreamlike worlds and felt sobering reflections of our time. As of December 31, these were the most visited pieces offered, so we take a moment to acknowledge some of the most fascinating work and conversations we had this year. As always, we thank you for reading our daily blog posts and quarterly print issues. And we look forward to another year of exploring what 2017 brings with you.
When NASA published some new and sharp images of Pluto in the beginning of the year, a dreamland of puzzling patterns was revealed. It was a gift for human imagination. How life would be in Pluto or in other worlds is the inspiration for Corey Helford Gallery’s first group show in their new Los Angeles space, “Between Worlds” (full disclosure: the show is curated by our Online Editor, Caro). Opening tomorrow, the exhibition presents 30 international contemporary artists’ visions of the fantasy of planets and lands yet to be explored.