“I only draw things that I like,” says painter Ryu Itadani. It’s a simple statement but also one that cuts through to the essence of the painter’s work. Sometimes it’s the shape, sometimes it’s the color. But it’s always something simple; something that anyone can easily find – a bottle of detergent, a jar of mustard, a magic marker – that catches the eye of Itadani and becomes the subject of a painting. “It’s sort of like a self-portrait,” he explains.
Born in Osaka, Itadani has spent time in Toronto and also London, where he went to art school. He’s currently based in Berlin on a POLA Art Foundation fellowship but has returned to Tokyo where he’s just installed a solo exhibition at the Pola Museum Annex.
Keeping true to his passion for things he likes, “Something Good,” as the title suggests, is a collection of colorful portraits of things that Itadani likes: a building under construction, a large crane, the boarding bridge to a plane, or even a simple flower. The magic of Itadani’s colorful, playful paintings though is that they make you look at things twice and, the 2nd time, in a brand new way. In discovering Itadani’s favorite things, perhaps we will also rediscover something beautiful that life has to offer
Something Good is on display at the Pola Museum Annex through July 10, 2016.