Seamless is a Digital Composite Collage Artist
Born in 1928, in Kochi, Japan, Toshiko Okanoue grew up in Tokyo. She began to make photo collages while she was studying fashion design and drawing in Bunka Gakuin in the early 1950s. When she first began working, she had very little art historical knowledge, and knew nothing of the Surrealist movement.
In post-war Japan, a shortage of goods and materials meant the country was flooded with commodities from foreign countries. Okanoue used fragments from Western fashion magazines such as Life, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, to create radical compositions combining body parts, animals and inanimate objects in dynamic arrangements. Although the component parts of her collages originated from Western sources, Okanoue herself regarded her technique of image making as deeply rooted in Japanese tradition. She thought of her works as a form of hari-e (‘hari’ meaning pasting and ‘e’ meaning a picture in Japanese), a traditional Japanese technique of making pictures by pasting small pieces of coloured paper onto pasteboard.
It was only in 1952, upon meeting the poet and artist Shuzo Takiguchi, that Okanoue found her own place in art history. Takiguchi was a leading figure of the Surrealist movement in Japan, and introduced Okanoue to the works of the famous Surrealist, Max Ernst, whose style had a decisive influence on her. During the subsequent six years, Okanoue produced over 100 works. Her collages remained idiosyncratic and dreamlike in their juxtaposition of contradictory imagery. In 1953 and 1956, she held solo exhibitions at Takemiya Gallery, Tokyo. However, as with many Japanese women of this era, her marriage in 1957 ended her artistic career.
Okanoue returned to her hometown of Kochi, where she now lives. She is married to the painter Fujino Kazutomo. Her work faded into obscurity and was overlooked for almost 40 years. However, it was rediscovered by the curator of the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography in the mid 1990s, and has since gained recognition for its contribution to the Japanese avant-garde. In 1996 her works was shown in Meguro Museum of Art, and has subsequently been collected by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Mark Hopkins Surrealism
The landscapes of Mark Hopkins are as gorgeous as they are mind-bending. Hopkins’ surrealistic techniques include playful visual distortion, juxtaposed symbols, and abstract surrealism in combination with a mastery of the craft of painting.
The first painting in the gallery above shows the Buddha hovering in the air in an archetypal temple. The scene is calm. Juxtaposed with this peaceful imagery is the ‘fallout shelter’ symbol on the tiles of the floor. The repetition of this symbol in an otherwise serene environment startles the viewer. It invites us into the work with Hopkins to reflect and process. Other symbols (which you’ll need to discover for yourself) further add the complexity, ambiguity, and depth of this image.
Hopkins’ gorgeous contemporary surrealistic paintings are both profound and ineffable.
Mark Hopkins Artist Statement
My paintings consist of elements assembled into stories or into ‘mood-scapes’. I place the recognizable into the supernatural as a way to invite a viewer to co-create a narrative from their understanding of what’s in a given composition. There is content, for sure. But it is flexible content or perhaps it is ‘content under construction’. Why? Perhaps it’s because I want more out of a work of art than straight representation can offer. My work adjusts to mood, current events, individual personalities, and to itself. It is possible come away with a different interpretation with each viewing. Bang for buck.
There are a few things I hope to say through the oeuvre of my work; That the Earth is precious, time is precious, life is precious, that our mind is amazing, that history is way more profound than we think, and that there are mysteries lurking which can provide insights into who we are, why we are here, and how ‘it’ all works. Graham Hancock calls us a people who have forgotten our past. My paintings both acknowledge and challenge that: We are finding what we forgot – awakening and reconstructing our past – but we might want to hurry.
I hope my work pleases my audience. I hope they play with it, enjoy the quirks, the color, and find it satisfying.
Forbes 30 Under (Art and Style) honoree and Society of Illustrators New York Gold Medalist Victo Ngai 倪傳婧 is a Los Angeles based illustrator from Hong Kong, graduated from Rhode Island School of Design. “Victo” is not a boy nor a typo, but a nickname derived from Victoria – a leftover from the British colonization.
Victo provides illustrations for newspaper and magazines such as the New York Times and the New Yorker; create storyboards and art for animations with studios like NBC and Dreamworks ; makes books for publishers such as Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Folio Society and Macmillan; and works on packaging and advertisement campaigns for Apple, Johnnie Walker, American Express, Lufthansa Airline and General Electric.
Victo has also taught at the School of Visual Art New York, the Illustration Academy and gives guest lectures and workshop at universities and conferences, this has become her favorite excuse to visit different cities.
Apart from drawing, Victo’s biggest passions are traveling and eating. She’s hoping that one day she will save up enough to travel around the world and sample all kinds of cuisines.
Waone is an Artist / Muralist from Kyiv, Ukraine.
The main goal of my art is to find out who am I and explore the outside world.
Viewing through the lens of the creative process gives me the possibility
to shift the focus away from the vanity of common life and tap into stranger invisible world, the origin of the entire existence…
It was a long way started back in 1999 when I stepped on the streets with a spray can. During the next 18 years, I developed a fairy tale visual language, a visual storytelling with a transcendental ethereal form of contemporary muralism.
Inspired by the old master’s art I continue my evolution, I like to imitate the esthetic of antique book illustrations and old engravings in my murals, canvases, and drawings.
During the last 2 years, when street art became a mainstream, I decided to shift my focus on studio work, now contemporary and fine art scene looks more appropriate scene for my art.