Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sculptural Painting that is Literally Off the Hook

Upon seeing these pictures, you might be saying to yourself "yeah, okay, so there are some goldfish, big deal." Yet this isn't just a still photograph of some fish in a barrel, it's a photo of a piece of artwork. Each fish is a painting and they look 3-D because they are 3-D. Using resin (a dense, easily molded plastic) and acrylic paint, Japanese Artist Riusuke Fukahori builds up every element in his pieces in slices, painting different portions of the fish, plants, and shadows layer upon layer. Through this meticulous method, Fukahori has bridged the gap between 2-D and 3-D, creating a new movement of art that's being referred to as sculptural painting.

But why goldfish? During a time he was struggling with his art, Fukahori suddenly found inspiration for this new way of sculpture in none other than his very own pet goldfish. In his blog, he recalls the moment:
 "12 years ago, on the day when I was at my most depressed and thinking of giving up my dream of painting, my attention was inadvertently caught by the single red goldfish that I kept in the room. It was a shabby, common Japanese goldfish that I had kept for 7 years. Opening the lid of the filth-covered aquarium, I watched as the goldfish wiggled around. Its back glittered red in the water and I was captivated by its beauty. I thought: “Why has it taken me so long to notice this beauty? This little fish will surely save me.” I then began to paint goldfish and now, 11 years later, I am still painting them." (The rest of his blog is in Japanese, but this excerpt was translated by RocketNews24).
 Fukahori's charming little fish made their debut in London at the ICN Gallery earlier this year in a show appropriately titled "Goldfish Salvation". The pieces come in different sizes, ranging from tiny boxes containing a single fish to larger barrels containing a whole school. They sell for up to £33,000. The video below shows the artist at work and the amount of detail that goes into each fish.

"Goldfish Salvation" Riusuke Fukahori from ICN gallery on Vimeo.

1 comment:

  1. I was initially astounded by the method in which Fukahori creates the 3D concept of the goldfish. But in watching his actual process, what is even more incredible is the way in which he knows goldfish: the fanning of their tail, how their body curves when they surface, the way in which they swim as a group. Also, at least on the subject of goldfish, he really seems to have no real limitations. While he knows goldfish very well, he seems to also know and take advantage of the artistic resources and freedom he has in this type of creation.
    I am not an art guru so many well-known, respected artists are way to out of my league of true comprehension. The reality that Fukahori conveys allows his audience to be bigger and makes understanding and appreciation of his knowledge and talent much more reachable. I find this to be one of his greatest gifts: to be able to convey to more than just art junkies what he imagines and wants to illustrate.


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