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okayama 01

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FIGURING OUT THE FIGURE

November 4 – December 11, 2010

Okayama 1
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Keisho Okayama — Crouching Man, Sumi ink on paper, 8.5" x 11"

Artist Statement

I have been drawing from the human figure for about fifty years. My early paintings have been about the figure, but my paintings have become increasingly abstract and non-figurative through the years. I still draw from the figure and whether abstract or figurative, the spatial concerns remain the same and space is still very mysterious to me. Drawing the figure is an excellent practice for me to maintain concentration in an active search for a form that exists in a personally perceived and felt spatial reality, rather than in a descriptive photographic space. The human figure is complex in form, and also very complex in the various emotional states evoked in the process of drawing the person who is the model. Consequently, the model is an important part of the process. I draw now, primarily with a Japanese brush and sumi because of the spontaneity they provide, and no doubt, because of my cultural background. However, I have never studied traditional Japanese brush painting. I have discovered that the brush with sumi ink allow for a wide range of line and tonal variations very quickly. I like that very much. The drawings that I am showing were done relatively quickly from poses that range from two minutes to fifteen or twenty minutes at the longest.

August 13, 2010
Los Angeles

 

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