In: Canadian Artists
Yuka Yamaguchi | Inseparable | 2006July 14, 2023
Yuka Yamaguchi | Inseparable [離れられない] | 2006
If there is love, smallpox scars are as pretty as dimples.
There is a simple elegance to Yagmaguchi’s work that sometimes belies the visceral content. I was lucky enough to experience her work in person, in an exhibition years ago that purported to showcase contemporary Saskatchewan artists. There were too many artists in the show, some of middling ‘quality’, but Yamaguchi’s unique style and subject matter was a high point of that exhibition.
Her use of very simple tools is perfectly matched to the illustrative nature of her images, which are as much about storytelling as a disciplined but playful aesthetic.
The title of this work can also be translated from Japanese as ‘Can’t Leave’ : but I don’t interpret that in a negative context, and still read this work as a more bodily or corporeal valentine’s card. The rawness is just another way of depicting the intensity of the feelings of being ‘inseparable.’
Yuka Yamaguchi is a self-taught visual artist from Kobe, Japan who has lived in Saskatoon since 2005.
Colour pencils and paper are her preferred medium as these tools allow for strong colors even though they are fragile and delicate. Yamaguchi “draws intuitively as she sees an image appear on paper and keeps adding images like a puzzle.”
More of Yuka Yamaguchi’s artwork can be seen here.
~ Bart GazzolaRead More
Dan Kennedy / Dr. Erosion | Animations, 2019 – 2022December 15, 2022
Dan Kennedy / Dr. Erosion | Animations, 2019 – 2022
I’ve always been a fan of animation in its many forms (I am a member of Gen X, so Saturday morning cartoons shaped me, but I also remember watching Science Ninja Team Gatchaman – and the butchered Western version Battle of the Planets when small, and Akira [アキラ] is another seminal experience, for me, when young).
Speaking as a more mature viewer, The Brothers Quay’s Street of Crocodiles (1986) is something I can watch over and over: and recently I rediscovered the 1986 animation The Mysterious Stranger, from the larger film The Adventures of Mark Twain (that vignette is based on Twain’s ominous story of the same name). The shifting mask of Satan, in that claymation, disturbed me as a child and still horrifies me now. Perhaps, with stop action animation, there’s that same ‘perversion’ of the human body that we see in work with dolls, as I touched upon when responding to Gabrielle de Montmollin’s Weird Baby World installation.
When I began researching Dan Kenndy / Dr. Erosion’s work, I was mostly familiar with his two dimensional ‘still’ artworks, but soon became engrossed with his short ‘films’. Drawing Time, Cats Dream of Water, Where is the Blue Fairy? – and many others – are brief visual anecdotes, amusing and disturbing simultaneously.
Kennedy’s aesthetic is ghostly ethereal and densely complicated, pulling upon his continuing “explorations of commercial culture or as he refers to it, ‘the commercial unconscious”.” (from here) There are hints of Hieronymous Bosch in these brief vignettes from Dr. Erosion / Kennedy that are engaging but also eerie.
When I’ve written about abstract painting I’ve often stolen and shared an idea from art historian Julian Bell: ‘In other words there was no prior context to the painting itself. The viewer’s eyes would submit, and the painting would act.’ Kennedy’s works are often short, and this makes them even more focused – like a sharp taste, where more would be too much.
Dan Kennedy / Dr. Erosion was also a previously featured Artist You Need To Know in AIH Studios’ continuing series. That can be explored here.
~ Bart GazzolaRead More