The Japanese Artist Tomokazu Matsuyama has maintained a studio in New York since 2004. We visited him in 2013 when he employed 2-3 assistants. Now that number is closer to 10. But artwork isn’t the only thing this small factory produces. Each assistant is an artist in their own right.
One of them is Meguru Yamaguchi, who’s already graduated. Now, two of Matsuyama’s younger protégés – Tsukasa Kanawa and Shinya Kato – are stretching their wings and showcasing their own artwork as part of Gowanus Open Studio.
Kanawa and Kato have actually been buddies since high school. But their artwork couldn’t be more different. Kanawa creates colorful paintings that combine elements of street art with mythological Japanese imagery like dragons and devils. Meanwhile, Kato’s ghostly images are reworked vintage photographs that are obscured by paint.
The exhibition “Close Enough To Walk Apart” opens October 18 at ShapeShifter Lab in Brooklyn and will stay up through November 22, 2014.
(this post is part of a series of our top picks of Japanese art openings in New York this fall 2014. You can see other picks here.)