Shotgun Reviews are an open forum where we invite the international art community to contribute timely, short-format responses to an exhibition or event. If you are interested in submitting a Shotgun Review, please click this link for more information. In this Shotgun Review, Forrest McGarvey reviews Tomokazu Matsuyama’s Come with Me at Gallery Wendi Norris in San Francisco.
In Come With Me, Japanese American artist Tomokazu Matsuyama brings together an array of visual inspirations from his multinational background for his third solo show at Gallery Wendi Norris. Seemingly disparate elements collide in his acrylic paintings to create something new and unique, but they ultimately reveal how some visual resonances are more potent than others.
The bulbous canvas of Warm Water (2015) undulates from rounded corner to rounded corner, like a flag in the wind, or perhaps an unfurling scroll. Four figures stand among a thistle of Japanese maple leaves and orchids, as a bright red string flows throughout the composition, ending in a knotted bow floating above them. The figures’ hair blows wildly in the wind, making fluid shapes that harmonize well among Matsuyama’s bright patches of airbrushed gold and electric hues. They are dressed in traditional Japanese kimonos with details of Western clothes—such as shirt pockets, the lapels of a suit coat, and buttons—sewn into their patterns. As figurative forms give way to intricate patterns, amorphic forms, and precise applications of paint, Matsuyama’s work questions the line between representation and abstraction.
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