Nature has a funny way of imitating itself. Have you ever picked up a stone and thought it resembled an animal? Indeed, many of us probably have. But Akie Nakata takes that thought one, two and even three steps further by breathing a life and soul into the stones she finds.
Based in Japan’s Saitama prefecture, the artist collects Zuni fetishes: small carvings of animals that are integral to the customs and traditions of the Native American Zuni tribe. It’s unclear whether this collection eventually led to Nakata’s own, original artwork but the similarities are hard to ignore. For Nakata though, there is no carving involved. And this is an important distinction. Every rock she finds and decides to paint is never altered. Instead, she finds inspiration in the natural form of the rock and deftly paints, in accurate and colorful detail, the animal she was reminded of.
She posts pictures of her work, usually alongside the original stone, which is helpful because the final work often hardly resembles the original stone. If you’re interested in purchasing one of her works you’ll need to reach out on Facebook. But note that the pieces get sold quickly, and she doesn’t take custom orders.