In the fashion of Magritte, a slender young boy dressed in a pale blue t-shirt and lime green shorts stands on a placid beach. He holds a rectangular plane with the image of a lively green field populated with spring flowers, set against a bright summer sky. The 2010 oil on panel Green – there and around ? by Japanese painter Kaoru Usukubo is a stunning example of the artist’s ability to entice the viewer by diverting his gaze.
A purple-haired girl looks down and buries her face into her hand in encounters and beyond (2009); an eerily lifelike boy is rendered in three-quarters view with his back to the viewer as he plays with a toy dinosaur in ice planet (2009); and a small child lays facedown on the sidewalk, actively covering his eyes in Teleportation (2008). Using children as the subject of her paintings, Usukubo conveys a message of curiosity. The playful themes are underscored by Usukobo’s superb ability to render realistic figures that beg the viewer to consider the innocence afforded in a child’s reality.