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Sunday, April 15, 2012

ARTIST PROFILE: NAO MATSUMOTO

NAO MATSUMOTO

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If you are in New York this April/May, you will be able to see some works by one of my new favorite artists NAO MATSUMOTO. A highly versatile Japanese artist based in Brooklyn, who made a recent splash by handing out hundreds of "middle finger" candles at the "Occupy Wall Street" Movement and the Nuclear Protest in Japan.

hpgrp GALLERY NY announces an exhibition of new works by Nao Matsumoto. "4", Consisting of four mixed media sculptures made in the past year, the show is a continuation of themes that Matsumoto has been working on for most of his career. In them, he explores the natural world, and makes work that depicts the duality and the irony of his observations.

Check out his works and a small description by NYAB of some of them below...

NAO MATSUMOTO

NAO MATSUMOTO

NAO MATSUMOTO

NAO MATSUMOTO

NAO MATSUMOTO

NAO MATSUMOTO

NAO MATSUMOTO

"In Chainsaw Blue, Matsumoto created a fiber re-enforced plastic sculpture of a Sawfish, a creature with a jagged sword-like snout. In the work, this appendage is replaced by an actual chainsaw, which both mimics the natural shape of the fish, as well as makes a play on its name. Matsumoto, who has always been fascinated by animals that have illogical phenotypes, painted the work sky blue and white, to counterbalance the fear evoked by the menacing creature. Coupled with the pun on its name, Matsumoto’s sawfish is marked by his characteristic wit and interest in latent violence, the boiling tension that pervades much of his work.

In 100, one-hundred individually cast resin ant heads are mounted on the wall in a precise, square grid. The installation—a continuation of Matsumoto’s earlier work, in which he associates insect heads with numbers—compares the systematic nature of the decimal system with the efficiency of the social structure of ants. For the artist, the number 100 signals a certain aesthetic completeness, and affords him the opportunity to observe synchronicities with events that occur in his own life.

In SAMF-V, Matsumoto created a vehicle out of mud tires mounted on a steel frame, with long, vicious wooden spikes pointing horizontally in both directions. Reminiscent of something a character would drive in the post-apocalyptic film Mad Max, the work channels both primitive violence and industrial strength. Inspired in part by the wood carvings of the Makonde tribe, which Matsumoto saw when he was living in Tanzania, as well as gargoyles and the wooden stakes hypothetically used to kill vampires, the work serves as a kind of demonic form, to ward off evil spirits. Using both modern and primitive materials the vehicle is at once intimidating and enticing, as is any other kind of lethal weaponry."

"4" NAO MATSUMOTO
2012.04.05 ( thu ) -2012.05.12 ( sat )
hpgrp GALLERY NY
Address: 529 W 20th St., 2W, New York, NY 10011
Phone: 212-727-2491 Fax: 212-727-7030
Between 10th and 11th Ave. Subway: C/E to 23rd Street Station

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