Monday, December 01, 2014
Tetsuya Ishida Paintings at the Asian
The Asian Art Museum is offering a small exhibit of close to a dozen paintings by the young Tokyo artist Tetsuya Ishida...
...who was a probable suicide in 2005 when he was crushed by a moving train at age 32 (above is Untitled from 2001).
His paintings are surreal and disturbing (On Holiday, 1988)...
...creating a singular vision that's as individual and instantly recognizable as a Dali, Munch or Kahlo (Autonomy, 2004).
Most of the paintings feature a disembodied head, looking like a satirical self-portrait of the artist, along with other body parts morphing into inanimate objects. We are all just cogs in a machine has never been quite so persuasively illustrated (Contact, 1998).
I visited the exhibit with a pair of young Japanese gay men, and the 1999 Prisoner above struck one of them as a frighteningly realistic depiction of his middle school days, complete with the total despair brought on by required physical education classes.