The characters in Yoskay Yamamoto’s paintings are often portrayed submerged in water. With eyes half-closed and a serene expression on their faces, they seem at peace in the cool blue seas painted from the artist’s dreams. The concept of being submerged, for Yamamoto, represents his place between cultures as a Japanese artist living in America. His ocean possesses a strong physical and emotional power because of this. It’s waters contain new elements in his latest series of 12 paintings, debuting on Friday at the Honolulu Museum of Art’s Contempo #ArtShop, curated by Giant Robot.
This Thursday, Yoskay Yamamoto will debut eighteen new paintings and sculptures at Hellion gallery in Portland, “Rainy Day with a Chance of Sun.” For this show, Yamamoto chose to explore the balance between joy and melancholy. His paintings vary in style, inspired by artists like Paul Klee, Keith Haring, Yayoi Kusama, and Robert Indiana, to name a few. Images of their art are scattered around his Los Angeles studio where we paid him a visit.
Yoskay Yamamoto’s artwork has always expressed a charming and nostalgic feel. His sense of nostalgia as a Japanese artist living and working in Los Angeles is unique. His latest exhibition, “House of Daydreamers”, which opened Saturday at Giant Robot’s GR2, defines the physical and emotional meaning of the word “home”. For some, home can be many things. It can be as broad as the place where you grew up, a dollhouse of imaginary characters, or even the planet Earth. Yamamoto’s new paintings, drawings, and basswood figurines created over the past year explore all of these possibilities.