Tomoo Gokita has one hell of an air of mystery surrounding his work. The Japanese painter recently showed new work at ATM Gallery in New York, the black & white wonders displayed under the title “Champion Carnival”. Borrowing from various art historical trends, most notably cubism, Gokita’s figures are abstracted in ways that directly reference the materiality of the medium: gouache is smeared and blended, lines are staggered and background non-descript. There is one female figure holding a gun that reminds me of Jessica Rabbit crossed with every blonde friend I’ve ever had. It is this eerie familiarity, the uncanny nature of Gokita’s subject matter that fuels curiosity, as we could be looking at altered film stills as well.
Finally gaining a well deserved international reputation, Gokita remains tight lipped about the conceptual meaning of his work, which I think is a refreshing change to a lot of the asinine dribble out in the world today. Silence really IS golden.
Text by Marion Piper.