all photos by Keizo Kioku, courtesy Gallery αM | click to enlarge

Japanese painter Toshiyuki Konishi returns to his Alma Matter – Gallery αM, the gallery of Musashino Art University – for a show of recent works. Konishi creates emotional, gestural paintings of family portraits, usually of his own family. The bold strokes – clearly no attempt was made to hide any signs of the artist’s hand – coupled with the abstract background, lends a certain primitive feel to the works. And yet, his portraits of people are as straightforward as it gets.

But the artist himself seems to represent a primitiveness uncommon to contemporary painters. Why family portraits? Why now, one might ask. There’s no irony or sinisterness at work here, which one might expect from a contemporary painter. He captures a dad horsing around with his children or a mom cuddling her young. There’s something refreshing about Konishi’s interest in humans and the warmth emitted when they’re seen coming together.

You can catch the show at Gallery αM through October 20th.