Tomoo Gokita’s newest solo show ‘Heaven’ kicks off at Honor Fraser Gallery November 7th, running through till December 19th.
In past works Tomoo Gokita has drawn and painted from budget pornography, selectively rendering and partially obscuring – with his signature abstractions – the awkward posture of staged pleasure. While there is nothing awkward or contrived about the paintings, what they do have in common with pornography of any kind is their ability to provoke an intense emotional reaction from the viewer. More often than not the reaction is an invigorating intellectual discomfort derived from the attempt to reconcile the figurative and nonrepresentational forms on the canvas.
Tomoo’s recent paintings are further evidence of, in his words, “the unexplainable sensibility” that results from intentionally fracturing a whole. In this case, what was whole was his black and white gouache on canvas oeuvre and the blue and white acrylics of “Heaven” have successfully cracked it open, revealing a new psychological dimension. “Don’t Tear Down What Took So Long To Build,” the title of one painting featured in “Heaven,” is ironic considering Tomoo’s continued interest in disrupting appropriated and recognizable images with the organic designs of his unique cuneiform. In “Heaven” though these unexpected interjections are logical and are perhaps a means of creating peace in previously unsettled environments; they appear with the grace of a wrestler entering the only place where he is truly comfortable, the ring.
Tomoo Gokita lives and works in Tokyo, Japan. “Heaven” is his second solo exhibition at Honor Fraser. He has also had solo shows in New York, Tokyo, and Kyoto, and is currently part of a group show at the Macro Future Museum in Rome, “New York Minute,” curated by Kathy Grayson. The most recent cover of Flaunt showcased his pig-eared portrait “El Topo,” and publications of his works include “Oh! Tengoku” (2001) and “Lingerie Wrestling” (2000). He was awarded the Gold Prize at the Art Director’s Club 80th Annual Awards in New York.