On March 18th, Tomoo Gokita will be back at Tokyo’s Taka Ishii Gallery for his third solo that will include 15 new paintings. Holy Cow will be a chance for the artist to show how his work progressed in the last 5 years since his last show with the gallery.
Inspired by old printed matter and photographs from American professional wrestling and Mexican pornography magazines of the 1960s and 1970s, Gokita’s visual language can be characterized as the collaged reconstruction of found images. This particular exhibition will feature black and white gouache paintings of varied scale, incorporating subjects and employing methods he previously used primarily in his drawings. His monochromatic paintings successfully combine the detailed renderings of certain parts, and simple, sometimes cartoon-like lines or depictions, in order to create a desired effect. Making the most out of the limited color palette, the Japanese artist cleverly utilizes partial distortions, textures, contrasts and tones, as well as gradations of light and metallic shadows. Giving these effects the same attention as to his subjects, Gokita’s body of work feels very coherent and complete, as part of a same photo album if you wish. The works’ titles, such as Commemorative Photo (seen above), Woman Sitting on a Bed, Queen with a Fake Beard, or Embrace, give us a hint of the subjects he focused on this time. Keeping the vintage feel of his subject matter and reference image, he is creating an alternative history based on real people and real events.
Photo credit by Tomoo Gokita
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