YDK Morimoe is an artist as enigmatic as his art. Also using the monikers of xhxix and Hi, this Japanese digital artist, born in 1985, has one of the most recognizable and touching styles in contemporary art. His photorealistic portraits, mixed with painting effects and bold digital touches, are mostly staging young men with sickly pale bodies and dazed eyes.

Surrounded by childhood and naive elements, the teenagers seem captured inside their LSD trips, unveiling whimsical hallucinations. With their grunge looks and attitudes, they are an expression of teenage unease and disturbing fragility. Androgynous, they are questioning their sexual and future adult identities. Enhancing the emotional strength of the digital paintings is the choice of colors ranging from nauseating grey hues to pastel variations recalling the joyful intensity of a soap bubble, a sweet candy, or faded confetti. There is a party atmosphere almost disharmonious within the deep pessimism affected by these heroes. The unsettling beauty of YDK Morimoe’s portraits are a factor of fascination and at a point, you certainly will realize that you are staring at them for quite some time.

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