Whether it's Toronto or Tokyo, cities cannot be fully understood until they are seen at night. Artist Keita Morimoto captures the special ambiance of urban settings after dark in his electric oil paintings. With a neon-color palette and sparse solitary figures, his canvases reflect the unique experience of living in distinct corners of a metropolis at odd hours.
Previously based in Toronto, Morimoto relocated to Tokyo in 2021. His newest pieces reflect some of the colorful signage and buildings that are characteristic of the Japanese capital. In particular, he highlights moments in which just one or a couple of figures occupy a space that is unusually subdued. Their body language seems at ease in the settings as they are going about their routines.
Bright artificial lights distinguish Morimoto's canvases from other nighttime depictions. He leans into the harshness of the glare from streetlights, windows, trains, and vending machines, all of which cast an unusual greenish glow on his paintings. They fill the scene with a sense of suspended time, as though these narratives could as easily be happening at seven in the evening or three ‘o clock in the morning.
Scroll down to see more exquisite paintings by Morimoto, and follow the artist on Instagram to keep up to date with his upcoming exhibitions and latest projects.