Sunday, May 29, 2022
Home Curator’s Eye Portray the Social Distortion

Portray the Social Distortion

Do take it personally and emotionally

Let’s say you are strolling through the collection at a museum. Are you the type of person who takes time to look at the portraits, or are you the type of person who, like the author, walks quickly through them? I find this area rather uncomfortable. The portraits on the walls reminded me of the walls of the principal’s office where I used to be scolded for hours for my innocent misbehavior. Nevertheless, there are certain works that fascinate me as much as the bitter memories, and I can’t help but stop to admire the timeless narratives of the models and artists, and the sense of presence that cannot be ignored.

It seems that I am not the only one who finds the portraits of ordinary people even more interesting and dramatic. For example, “The Girl with the Pearl Earring,” a masterpiece by Dutch Golden Age painter Johannes Vermeer, inspired Tracy Chevalier to write a novel of the same title that sold over 5 million copies and was even made into a movie. Just as the face of the President of the United States carved into Mount Rushmore is fearless but inaccessible, it is somewhat rare to be charmed by the archetypal privileged class, no matter how beautifully it is depicted.


Joes Wall by James Earley H 68cm x W 48cm x D 4cm
Click here to see more of my work

A good portrait should have the power to lure us into a strange triangle between the model, the artist and the viewer. We don’t have to be afraid of feeling attached to it. Some of today’s portraits in TRiCERA depict ordinary people, especially those from a distorted social dimension. Are we ready to dive into that distorted dimension?Please fasten your seatbelts. This will be a very private and emotional flight.

The Scream by James Earley H 88cm x W 68cm x D 4cm
Click here for more information about the film.

“I want my work to scream.” – James Earley

British-born James Earley is one of the most promising hyperrealist painters working today, having won first prize at the London Biennial 2019. He says he often represents troubled figures to “raise awareness of issues like homelessness, mental health, and war. Surprisingly, his unconventional models give a positive impression of humanity and serenity, far more than the negativity of sadness and exhaustion.

The cry that reaches the so-called “ordinary people” is that there is no difference between these “unfortunate people” and us. We all have problems in life that we want to hide. But in their case, they are only exposed because they don’t have a social costume to cover them. The soles of this man’s feet, which attract the viewer’s attention, symbolize the hardships and stains of life that we are trying so hard to cover up, and evoke in the viewer the awkwardness of being exposed to them.

A conversation between a Syrian boy and a bomb from abroad by James Earley H 98cm x W 68cm x D 4cm
Click here for more information about the work.

When I moved to Vancouver, Canada, known as the most livable city in the world, in 2015, the sight of homeless people saturating the streets was a shock to me. After all, just one block away from a street that bustles with tourists day and night is the largest homeless area in the world. Living among them, I did not suffer any direct harm, but the indirect damage was great. Many of them were young men and women of the same age, and my heart ached every time I walked past them.

Paying rent, food, and expensive tuition fees from my modest savings and part-time job, my life in downtown Tokyo became more and more difficult by the day. I was barely making ends meet when a Canadian friend of the same age told me about her secret past. She told me that she had been in the same situation as me, but had fallen and had been homeless for several months and then stayed in a shelter. To the outside world, she was beautiful and cheerful, but she hid it well under her disguise. After that day, homelessness was no longer someone else’s problem. This realization and fear became a driving force, but ultimately led me to leave downtown.

The Yellow Road by James Earley H 88cm x W 68cm x D 4cm
Click here to read more about the work.

One day, after years of escaping from my miserable reality, a homeless man from Montreal named Jean-Marc asked me to go to that store and buy this for him. Usually he would just ask me for some change, but he was friendly and about the same age as me, so I took him up on his offer. While we walked a few blocks together, he happily told me his personal story. A few nights later, I saw him again on the street and we chatted a bit. I couldn’t do much for him, but sometimes I still wonder how he is doing.

I was moved to tears when I saw Jean-Marc’s embarrassed smile in one of Early’s intimate portraits. I guess the artist must have not only a heart full of empathy and compassion, but also the strength to share and bear their sorrow. It is not charity that can bring out the genuine smiles seen in this painting, but his unvarnished persona. Early perpetuates the momentary joys of reality as art, lighting up lives that are otherwise overlooked.

More portraits that reflect the distortion of society

Macrobian Portrait I by Rafa Mata H 56cm x W 56cm x D 0cm
Click here to see more of my work.

In the younger generation, the pressure to be unique (like others) is increasing. They struggle to find themselves between the innate preciousness of their individuality and the socially endorsed popularity of their personality. Rafa Mata aptly points out this contradiction in his art and words.

Self Portrait 3 by Zeng Chao H 53cm x W 46cm x D 4cm
For more information about her work, click here.

Zeng Chao depicts the ideological conflict in contemporary Chinese society as a portrait of a person. He says that one group is influenced by Chinese socialism, while the other is influenced by Taoism, an ancient Chinese philosophy. He dresses the figures in symbolic socialist clothing and replaces their heads with his Taoist-derived motif, the “temporary mountain stone. The contrast of the dynamic brushwork with oil paint is astonishing.

Selfportrait by Ryo Shimizu H 117cm x W 91cm x D 3cm

Is the image reflected in the mirror our own, or is it the image seen by others? The theme of Melody Shimizu is to question the uncertainty of what we see. He says, “We understand and define ourselves by the images others show us. Therefore, the other is a mirror of us. This self-portrait is a mosaic of the various images of ourselves found in the mirrors of various societies.

What the portrait represents may not be as easy to understand as, for example, a landscape painting. However, because of this ambiguity, we are free to read between the lines. What do we feel as viewers? How did the painter interpret the model? And what do we see in the eyes of the model? It is good to enjoy portraits from a personal and emotional point of view.

A colleague of mine wrote another article about portraits. “Why Do People Paint Faces? He also analyzes many other works from a technical point of view. For those who are interested, don’t forget to subscribe to the ArtClip newsletter.

Isaac Ishimatsuhttps://www.tricera.net/
Born in Tokyo in 1988 and raised in the countryside, Isaac now stays in France. Although he excelled in his studies and work, he spent his time in Japan as an unconventional individual who puzzled his serious teachers and superiors. To realize his childhood dream of living abroad, Isaac moved to Canada in 2015. Currently, learning new languages, teaching languages, and working for TRiCERA keep him busy. Having worked at a pottery studio and studied music at a Canadian college, he has a wide range of interests, including photography and art. He writes about the connection between art and daily life from observations of the history and comparison of cultures.

Most Popular

You Might Like

6 Artwork to Create a Natural Room

Here is a collection of art that is useful for room design. Not only the visuals, but also the philosophy of the artists. In...

Fascinating Myanmar Art

If there is a painter who comes to your mind when you hear the words "Myanmar artist," then you are probably a serious art...

Joi Murugavell – Maze of Joy

Australian artist Joi Murugavell creates colorful works of art that are bold, fun and full of unique characters. She began her career as an...

Why choose TRiCERA ART? More than an online art gallery.

Premium experience with Japanese hospitality in North American approach Purchasing art is exciting and sometimes thrilling, either online or offline, the first time or more....

The Story of “Blue” in Art

The life that we see is incredibly vivid. However, in our daily lives, only artists and designers are conscious of color. Let's take...

Don't Miss

The Distance Between the Work and the Artist’s Heart: On the Appeal of Drawings

 The words used to describe art are enormous and the boundaries of definition are unclear.  Drawing and its surrounding words may be a particularly clear...

QUICK INSIGHT Vol.13 The Coexistence of Pain and Beauty in Human Society portrayed by Norris Yim

Norris Yim paints abstract portraits that represent the complex inner lives of people living in the present day, and the pain and beauty of...

Art fair as a platform, art fair as an exhibition, and art fair as a form of artwork.

What is 3331 Arts Chiyoda? 3331 Arts Chiyoda is an art space that opened in Tokyo in 2010 on the site of a...

IKU→ Exhibition|”Theorem of Ego Search = ? Virtual Gallery Opening

Artist IKU→'s solo exhibition "Theorem of Ego Search = ? ”Virtual gallery is now open! In this solo exhibition, more than 40 new works by...

Feature Post

Unique and Mesmerizing World of Paper Art

Did you enjoy crafting with the paper as a kid? I certainly did! Folding, cutting, gluing, assembling, coloring, and drawing. The possibilities it had...

Autumn in Japan with Art

 After August, the heat that has been tormenting us finally eases up, and we finally enter the season of autumn.  It has long been known...

Asian artists on the rise, Asian art power explodes at Hong Kong Art Week

Meeting at Art Basel in Hong Kong   Starting with a private viewing for the press and VIP guests, Art Basel Hong Kong was held from...

Six points to know about deityparty

Deityparty draws pictures of cute girls with simple designs that look like characters, but on the contrary, many of her works are about the...

Editor's Choice