Kazuki Takamatsu made a ripple at Scope Miami last year during Art Basel and has been on my radar since. While there are other depth mapping artists out there, Google those bold words together and ultimately you will end up back spending more time than you should looking at his impressive work. Hashtag the artist’s name on Instagram and you will come across many thankful fans.
Using gouache, a water based paint, Kazuki juxtaposes the traditional method of painting and the more modern depth map technique, in which he uses separate shades of grey layers that indicate depth to the viewer. Closer clips of the paintings would produce abstractions that look like topographical maps. The technique gives his work equally realistic and abstract qualities; and his clean execution and use of the medium gives the hand crafted work the illusion that the pieces are computer generated.
The subjects covered in the pieces include adolescent sexuality, fantasy, weapons, machinery and machine parts, dismembered figures, skulls, vegetation, religion, and may more topics all in anime style. “I use computer graphics-digital-and painting-analog-to make a work and it indicates the emotion of boys and girls metaphorically,” says Kazuki of his painting method in this article. The work is a metaphor for the not so fantastical concept of technology consuming youth and not the other way around.
I’m looking forward to seeing his work make the rounds throughout the U.S. in the near future, and of course the return to Basel. He is featured in the May issue of Juxtapoz Magazine, and you can find out more about Kazumi Takamatsu’s work here, though it helps if you can read Japanese.