Longtime followers of Japanese artist Kazuki Takamatsu may already know his process: painstaking gouache layers that recreate scenes first imagined on 3-D computer software. Yet, in his latest set of striking paintings at the Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles, the otherworldy nature of Takamatsu’s work is what again draws viewers into this haunted world of hologram-like characters. The solo show “Decoration Armament” opens this Saturday, and it features some of the HF Vol. 33 cover artist’s most ambitious and engrossing work yet.
Kazuki Takamatsu (HF Vol. 33 cover artist) paints layers of translucent, white gouache that appear to float over his matte, black backgrounds. His hologram-like, female characters look digitized, though they’re executed entirely by hand. That’s because the artist turns to depth mapping software for inspiration for his images and painstakingly renders his figures as if they were parceled into pixels. For his upcoming solo show “Even a Doll Can Do It,” Takamatsu presents a new series of paintings centered around ghostly depictions of nymph-like girls floating in cyberspace. The exhibition opens February 14 at Dorothy Circus Gallery in Rome and will be on view through April 4.
“People are always seeking what they believe,” young Japanese artist Takuma Onoda writes at his website. Being in Japan, he lives in a world with a shared reverence for traditional religion and pop-up culture icons like Hatsune Miku, or his city’s mascot, “Sento-kun”. He combines these contradicting ideas of idol worship into handpainted portraits of “Cyber Idols” that look three dimensional.
On Saturday, CHG Circa revealed Kazuki Takamatsu’s much anticipated second solo with the gallery (previewed here), “Spiral of Emotions”. Takamatsu, who was in attendance from Japan, has captured the curiosity of his fans with his signature technique called Depth Mapping. Ask Takamatsu about his perplexing style and he might label it as “Shojo-Irasuto”, or a style of illustration inspired by Japanese girl’s comics. He is part of a new generation that celebrates its pop culture, which we see in his goddess-like school girls with a heavenly aura. Takamatsu once fronted his own punk rock band, “Almond Crush”, and follows current fashion trends, but he also has a spiritual side rooted in cultural tradition. His twelve new paintings explore this tug of war between the old and new.
Japanese artist Kazuki Takamatsu (featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 16) has a new solo show opening at CHG Circa on June 21st, “Spiral of Emotions”. The show’s title epitomizes the ghostly spiraling layers in Takamatsu’s handpainted figures that look like 3D graphics. He will exhibit twelve new gouache paintings exploring the emotional disconnect between the old and adolescent generations of Japan. These compositions may be precisely designed with a digital technique called Depth Mapping, but the final result captures feelings that cannot be planned. For his debut exhibition with Corey Helford last year, “Japanese Ideology of Puberty”, Takamatsu infused elements of Japanese pop culture and fantasy that are further employed here. His new subjects appear “lost” and floating through ethereal visions of death, spirituality, and an uncertain future. See more after the jump!