Miho Hirano’s delicate portraits of young goddesses are in and of nature, adorned by pastel flowers, butterflies, and humming birds. They stand blissfully as slender tree branches wrap them in love and color, or wade neck high in a shallow river. We are immediately reminded of “Flora,” represented in Botticelli’s “Allegory of Spring”, a profusion of flowers coming out of her mouth.
The most beautiful season of the year, with its warm colors and chanting winds, has always been associated to beauty and femininity as well as with phases of physical change such as (re)birth, movement and life itself. Hirano combines sensuality in seductive ways by creating microcosms populated by creatures which are not only inhabitants of these nearly mythological worlds, but are also loyal companions of the young women immersed in these bucolic sceneries.
In Hirano’s work there’s little difference between earth and sky; a tangle of hair becomes a spray of tree branches, and the human body the heartbeat of nature itself. The lithe sprites depicted in Hirano’s paintings have merged with their surroundings while maintaining a certain detachment from everything not human. In “Loop,” a blue-haired girl holds a sea plant and wears a luminous necklace made of living, swimming goldfish. “Small Daybreak” and “Magnolia” turn the girls’ hair into a haven for butterflies and a nest for birds.
For Hirano, nature is like a beautiful fashion accessory: “Each of my female characters can be seen as a self-portrait of mine in some way, such as sharing my desire to dress up. However, they are not myself in a mirror, but someone else who takes over my consciousness. One of my goals as an artist is to explore how we adorn ourselves with accessories, and how this plays a role in our identity.” Her first major exhibition “Beauties of Nature” will take place at Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles from March 26 through April 16, 2016.