At first glance, the work of Japanese artist Shintaro Ohata might look like textural oil paintings, but a closer look reveals that his subjects are not confined to the flat surface of his canvases. Depending on the viewer’s perspective, his colorful, childlike sculptural characters seem to live halfway between their painterly worlds and the gallery showroom.
To create his mixed media work, Ohata places three-dimensional, figurative sculptures made from polystyrene in front of his canvases. Painted using matching colors and textures, the two mediums merge together to create a single, 3D painting. Ohata captures moments of everyday life, often applying a single color in various tones to capture the mood. In a sepia-colored piece titled Flightless wings, a figure of a girl is captured leaping across a sun-lit beach. The entire scene is painted in various shades of orange and red, evoking a sense of summertime joy. Another piece titled In the sea features a girl sinking to the bottom of the ocean, where the somber mood is captured with an assortment of blue hues.
Ohata’s first solo show opens on June 30, 2018 at Mizuma Gallery in Singapore. Describing the exhibition the gallery says, “Through his eyes, we witness the dazzling and enfolding light of sunset, city roads on a rainy day, and the gleaming fluorescence of convenient stores at night. Amidst the rapid speed of life, Ohata urges audiences to pause for a moment and take a breather.”
You can find more of Ohata’s whimsical work on the Yukari Art website.