The Japanese artist Teppei Takeda creates abstract portraits seemingly composed of bold and audacious brush strokes with globs of paint forming lines and contours of the face. However, step closer and you’ll discover that each and every glob of paint is a meticulously painted illusion and the work is as flat as the original canvas it was painted on.

Teppei Takeda spends up to two months on a single painting with a bulk of that spent on the initial planning. The artist uses a combination of analog drawing and digital data to calculate and understand the exact effect of the textures he plans to create, and the specific illusion they will create on the viewer before even beginning to paint. Once that’s done he then uses fine brushes originally intended for miniature painting, carefully rendering each and every brush stroke. The series are, quite appropriately, called “paintings of paintings.”

Takeda just opened a new show at Maho Kubota Gallery in Tokyo today where a total of 8 paintings are on display (August 27 – September 24, 2022). If you’re in Tokyo we highly recommend seeing these in person.