Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Masami Teraoka at Catharine Clark Gallery
The 74-year-old Japanese artist Masami Teraoka (above) had a one-man show open at the downtown Catharine Clark gallery on Saturday evening that was a real treat.
Everybody who was anybody was there, including the great artist Enrique Chagoya (above in the orange), whose work also plays with cultural mashups.
Masami Teraoka came to prominence in the 1970s with his series of Japanese style prints with bizarrely modern subject matter, such as geishas eating McDonald's burgers, which have even been turned into tapestries (above).
There are still number of pieces from that era available for sale by Catharine Clark (pictured above right) along with other works on paper such as prints from the Huaname Bay series (below).
The artist has long lived in Waimanalo, the most beautiful beach on Oahu, with his painter wife Lynda Hess (click here for their website).
In the 1980s, Masami Teraoka embarked on an AIDS series, a dark, subtle set of prints that were the opposite of in your face, leavened by exquisitely beautiful nature prints of California and Hawaii (above).
In the late 1990s, he started on a very different set of paintings...
...Catholic altar triptychs in an allegorical Renaissance style...
...with radically different content, leaning towards in your face perversity, sexuality, politics and gore.
"Are you trying to be deliberately shocking with these paintings?" I asked the artist, and he started laughing.
"The only person I'm trying to shock is myself," he replied. "Otherwise, it gets boring."