Toru Kuwakubo, ‘TORINASU 3’, 2008, Tomio Koyama Gallery

About Toru Kuwakubo

Toru Kuwakubo makes large-scale oil paintings of vast spaces that are autobiographically sourced, though ultimately imaginary. His images are distinctive in their distorted sense of distance, repetition of motifs and figures, and floating abstract marks. Kuwakubo is also known for his vibrating and vivid color palette—an effect of using several pigments in a single brushstroke, and contrasting pastel hues with what he calls muddy colors. White boxes make frequent appearances in Kuwakubo’s works, which represent, in his words, “an abstract presence that contains one’s life, […] because of its weight, the box prevents you from moving.” Since the catastrophic 2011 earthquake in Japan, Kuwakubo has been exploring themes involving the ocean. He sometimes creates works under the name of a fictional painter called Kuwoud Bonet (an anagram of his own name) to explore the myths and clichés of the artistic persona.

Japanese, b. 1978