Shinjiro Okamoto: Talkative
720 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Tuesday, March 19 at 6:00 PM 8:00 PM
Ends May 11, 2024
Nonaka-Hill is pleased to present Shinjiro Okamoto “Talkative”, an artist expressly acknowledged in Japan for his post-war art and unabashed observance of pre-war “Japanese-ness,” as well as his subsequent innovations in that country’s vital Pop Art movement. An art director, master printmaker and celebrated artist, Okamoto (1933 – 2020) is regarded manifestly for paving the way for what would become universally recognized as the Superflat and Micropop phenomena made mainstream in the 1990s by artists Takashi Murakami and Yoshitomo Nara. An avid devotee of the aesthetics of the Edo period (1603 – 1868) Shinjiro Okamoto grew up in working class Tokyo during Showa (1926 – 1981) and as a young teenager experienced the devastating U.S. fire-bombing of his home city in 1945. Largely self-taught, his drawing, painting, design and writing are heavy with nostalgia for the old low lying Tokyo neighborhoods and streets of his youth. Okamoto early on embraced a Nihonga style of working, which developed into a subjective language of simple outlines condensing characters and scenescapes, infused with carefully applied uniform acrylic paint of muted, fluorescent, pastel and high color tones – combinations typical in the history of Japanese packaging and design, but not yet particularly common in the West, even at the onset of Pop Art in the late 1950s. Prefacing Japan’s much celebrated Superflat movement Okamoto created “shadowy pictures without shadows'' as jocular, immersive surfaces that could elicit a range of cheerfully nihilistic emotions from humor to paranoia, elation to dread.
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