Oakland, California 2021-02-23 14:15:40 –
Auckland-based multimedia artist Kota Ezawa is essentially a sculptor. Like a sculptor who sees an indigenous mythical god in a block of wood, or an artist who can imagine an exciting Roman goddess in a cold, formidable block of marble, Ezawa has a specific source of “extras”. Remove the “” to reveal the essential image. His abstract works include digital animation, slide projection, lightboxes, archived photos, film clips, vector drawing software, cutouts and watercolors, but he is the perfect storyteller.
In an interview, Ezawa states that his work is similar to mirroring ourselves in past and present societies and events. Using symbolic and famous images extracted from general history, art history, popular culture, movies, television, archived documents, and the latest news, Ezawa begins the deconstruction process.
Found footage is used to create his distinctive sharp-style stop-start, blink-length transition animations. Images recorded by the camera are redrawn using computer vector technology, such as cutting with clunky scissors, before drawing with a traditional handheld brush. During the process, “reused” materials are simplified and flattened. Often powerful content depicting protests, scenes of powerful forces oppressing personal freedom, or interpersonal tensions is transformed into an annotated version of a larger and more dramatic story.
Ezawa’s work is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum of Art, Chicago Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Yerpa Buena. Especially the art center. It is currently on virtual display at the Haynes Gallery in San Francisco, and includes videos and other works of the “National Anthem” related to the Bay Area in the online display room. His approximately two-minute video, created for the Whitney Biennial 2019 in 2018, began with the sight of former NFL 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the performance of The Star-Spangled Banner in 2016.
Ezawa grew up in Germany as the son of a Japanese immigrant. He has lived in the United States for over 20 years and is a naturalized American citizen. His perceptions of the Black Panther protests of the 1960s and the recent Black Lives Matter movement make us think of the “genius” of Capernick’s protests against racial injustice, police atrocities, and the oppression of colored races. Most protests are distilled into slogans (words and phrases), but the act of kneeling is completely non-verbal and is performed on national and prominent platforms, the effects of which are immediately serious.
“The national anthem was completed before the current wave of BLM protests, but there is renewed interest,” says Ezawa. “I’m not a newspaper, I’m portraying everything that’s happening in the world, but it’s relevant again is a good proof of this work.”
The work he saw at Whitney’s exhibition was adorned in a prominent place with the art of 50 contemporary artists invited to a prestigious showcase, launching a roller coaster of admiration and criticism. A handful of critics’ “negative puncture wounds” were overwhelmingly offset by the thousands of people they met at public lectures and exhibitions, and thanked them for their presence and the powerful influence of their work. Says Ezawa.
“I myself thought Capernick’s protest was a beautiful gesture. My work was a tribute to this country. I don’t need a PhD. To understand my art. Some critics Criticized its accessibility. “
Ezawa said that US-born artists could be “involved in serious problems” when controversial topics such as OJ Simpson’s trial and national anthem kneeling are taken up in artwork, songs, and public statements. recognizing. As an immigrant, he certainly faces challenges, but he also enjoys special freedom when commenting on American society from the “cultural mainstream fringe.”
Ezawa is universal and there is some emotional distance leading to the work that he calls his ultimate goal. In addition, the core image is generally familiar, so his art does not speak to elite art clubs or try to change public perception by 180 degrees. Viewers are free to decide on their own stories of paintings and videos that result from the creative process in which he compares them to long-term relationships.
“You have to be able to get along with your work for a long time,” he says.
Asked about presenting art from one country in another and future projects that may focus on his hometown of Germany, Ezawa admits: I did a show in Germany with an American image, and the reaction to it got a bit cold. The national anthem protest was in motion. There was a sense of solidarity with the people involved, but the relationship with Germany is more complicated. “
Overall, Ezawa believes that his art provides an emotional spectrum, despite the volatility of the source material.
“I’m not interested in happy art, but I don’t want to accept only depression and sadness,” he says. “My art must have a hopeful message and the tragedy of our lives.”
Apart from some of the German family during the pandemic, he finds comfort in knowing that they are connected by shared conditions. After spending 20 years in San Francisco, he moved to Auckland in 2014 and found the two communities to be completely unique. He embraces Auckland’s natural proximity and cultural mix, but ignores the pockets of poor and wealthy people in West Auckland’s neighborhood and the tensions between “prosperous and left-behind.” Can’t be In the mind and eye of the sculptor, Ezawa cuts down the vast and universal story of the protests expressed, the acquisition and loss of justice, and the acquisition of freedom, with future works that are still too fresh to discuss. I predict that I will continue to polish.
Lou Funcher I’m a freelance writer.Please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org..
Oakland artist Ezawa’s work shown in S.F.’s Haines Gallery Source link Oakland artist Ezawa’s work shown in S.F.’s Haines Gallery