Brooklyn-based painter Meguru Yamaguchi creates dynamic portraits that seem to be exploding with color. Using what he calls a “cut-and-paste” technique, Yamaguchi samples elements of painting, collage acrylics and spray paint to create works “reminiscent of Hip-Hop samplings from the 70s.”
His recent portraits are depictions of his friends on Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites, earning him the title, “Digital Impressionist.”
Yamaguchi was raised in Shibuya, the epicenter of Tokyo street culture. His parents were fashion designers and, growing up, Yamaguchi was continuously fed a healthy dosage of pop art from the likes of Keith Haring, Jean Michel Basquiat and Warhol. But his main influence comes from Gerhard Richter, who originally got Yamaguchi on the path of oil painting. However, Yamaguchi was in search of structure – a way to combine colors without having them bleed into each other. That’s when he began experimenting with the technique of painting on acrylics, cutting them up and adhering them to a canvas. “It’s like a jigsaw puzzle,” explains Yamaguchi. “I can do addition, but also subtraction.”
Yamaguchi is currently part of Monster (PDF), a group exhibition at Hpgrp in Chelsea.