|Kenji Nakayama, Etudes 18, acrylic and enamel on paper, 34 x 24 inches, 2013, Courtesy the artist.|
There comes a time in an artist's life when inspiration takes hold and well... things change. The history of art is rife with examples where fundamental stylistic and technical changes have marked new trajectories that have advanced a careers and raised the artist's work to new heights. A fresh start, they sometimes call it. It could be the use of different brushwork, simplifying of the subject matter, or turning to abstraction altogether. We're terribly impressed with this artist's latest series of paintings. He calls them studies - "Etudes". We think these are incredibly well-rendered and finished works. They are underlain by the time-honored craft of pinstriping (the artist's hallmark technique). They are rendered in a manner that fuses eastern and western sensibilities by self-consciously incorporating elements of each culture's artistic history with a very forward-thinking vision. The result is a perfect marriage of cross-cultural tradition with 21st century vibrancy. Street craft meets highbrow, indeed.
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