Do you get it ? I hope you do! Photographed on 11th Avenue near 22nd Street. Art by Balu Naiz.
If you are a fan of Surrealism, Japanese Manga, human bio-mechanical mutants or warped and unfathomably violent animated shows such as Super Jail, then you might want to stop over at the Stux Gallery on West 25th Street to check out Japanese artist Akikazu Iwamoto’s new collection of fantasy paintings entitled Secret Candy.
According to the show’s press release by Lucy Li, “Akikazu creates wildly imaginative, candy-colored paintings and drawings that offer confronting, amusing and sometimes frightening revelations of our inflated inner desires in their most distilled state.”
Some of his paintings reminded me thematically of the wildly imaginative fantasy worlds of Dr. Suess’s Children’s Books.
It’s noteworthy that Akikazu was raised in Hiroshima (where he still lives), in a house just one kilometer away from the Atomic Bomb Dome. The images and artifacts of the Bomb affected him greatly during his childhood.
The main thrust for his artwork is a general deep-seated sense of wickedness that he believes to exists in every human psyche. Akikazu cites Maurice Utrillo, an early 20 th century painter of emotionally charged Parisian landscapes, as one of his notable inspirations. His works are also influenced by the ethereal colors he witnessed during a trip to Nepal as well as the works of American painter Aaron Johnson and Canadian Marcel Dzama.
His visions take place in a comprehensive atmosphere free from the restrictions of reality, where violently mutated creatures, detached body parts and nondescript organic forms are rendered masterfully, contending an inherent connection between violence and innocence.
These paintings are all fairly large in size and look much cooler in person than in photographs. If Secret Candy seems like your thing I encourage you to visit this exhibit before it’s over, which is always sooner than you think.