Kazuki Takamatsu‘s [March 2014 issue of beautiful.bizarre] solo exhibition ‘Spiral of Emotions’ consists of twelve new paintings and is currently showing at Corey Helford Gallery (CHG Circa in Culver City, Los Angeles) from June 21 – July 12, 2014.
Takamatsu is known for his unique and highly recognizable monochromatic representations of beautiful and haunting girls that come to life through his multi-layered paintings on jet black backgrounds. To him, the black and white color palette symbolizes good and evil, as well as race and religion. Also, each layer of his paintings represents “distance where there is no light and shadow.” Through them, he explores dark narratives such as death and the current social social conditions.
I was lucky enough to be able to ask him a few questions during the opening reception of this exhibition. All the questions were answered in Japanese, see Kazuki’s translated responses below.
You have a unique painting style. How did you come up with it?
I came up with the idea when I was experimenting with acrylic sheets. The more layer of acrylic sheets I put on top of the others, the more opaque the layered parts look. I wanted to create a similar effect on my painting. And that’s how it began.
How many years ago was this?
Around 10 years ago . . .
Is this (image #2 – above) a painting of a ball-jointed doll?
Like the rest of the subjects of my paintings, she represents a Japanese girl. Do you notice that the all of the girls I paint look almost the same? They represent how Japanese girls dress and act like the others . . . how they follow similar trends, wear similar clothes, talk – and behave – in similar ways . . .
Is there any message you’d like to share to beautiful.bizarre readers?
To those of you who are experiencing emotional pains, unsure of yourselves, and feeling vulnerable . . . you might think that you are not strong enough. But, please know that you feel those pains because you have gentleness/tenderness inside of your hearts. So, please be confident (knowing that you are great just the way you are).
Stunning though these paintings look on your screens, they are not as striking as the real ones. First of all, the images you see on your screens are a lot smaller than the real paintings. Also, since Kazuki Takamatsu paints his works one layer at a time (just the way he layered the acrylic sheets he experimented with many years ago), these paintings are dimensional. So, if you have a chance to stop by the Corey Helford Gallery before the show closes (in July 12, 2014), I encourage you to view these paintings in person.