Tomoo Gokita's Holy Cow at Tokyo's Taka Ishii gallery consisting of 18 brand new pieces on canvas. Known for his unorthodox process, all the paintings included in the show were created about one month ahead of the opening. Still strongly influenced by wrestling, family portraits, vintage Hollywood starlets and Mexican porn, some of the new pieces bring back more abstract forms.
Photos courtesy of Taka Ishii Gallery / Kenji Takahashi
Based on plants and flowers, these non-figurative works are great examples of Gokita's masterful painting technique. Using only brush strokes and gradients of monochromatic tones, the Tokyo-based artist achieves a fantastic feel of depth, light and texture in his paintings. While his recent shows compromised of mostly large size works, Holy Cow includes some smaller pieces that present the strength of his recognizable visual language and unpolished technique. Balancing between illustrative and realistic representation, his character-based works are both majestic and momentous as well as humorous and burlesque. Keeping the classy feel of vintage photography, Gokita rarely shows the faces of his subjects, and often exaggerates their features all the way to absurdity or grotesque. —Sasha Bogojev