Koichi Sato
Hope Eight Days a Week

KSATO 14

 

“OPENING”: Thursday, May 28th, 2020
The Hole is proud to present our first solo show by Koichi Sato. The exhibition features eight new paintings and three silkscreen works.

Sato’s paintings are instantly recognizable by their joyful imagery and scintillating patterns. Born in Tokyo, Sato moved to New York City in the late 90s and works out of a studio down on Canal Street. Fascinated by old American magazines while growing up, Sato makes paintings that have a vintage feel to them, and not just from the huge mustache choices of the sports players he depicts. The subjects of his paintings are always group portraits; he has painted cheerleaders, bodybuilders, bands, astronauts, cops, or 80s sitcom casts—tho often he just depicts imaginary people. He says he likes to let his imagination run free while making a piece; you will notice the prominent polydactyly in this show, which he explained by saying he just starts painting fingers and stops when he thinks there are enough.

Not just the choices of imagery but the way he renders things is inventive and fresh: the technological-looking seeds of a papaya, the tiny looped Cherio’s of hair, the feathers of a turkey or the striations of a plant. Patterning covers everything except the skin of the figures and a recurring bright yellow sun. From the understandably ornate ceremonial garb to the crazily articulated wrinkles on E.T., everything gets activated. Fruits and animals from different continents coexist with figures of different skin color wearing indigenous garb synthesized from very disparate cultures and time periods: there is a lot going on in each work!

The surfaces of the works range from a barely-there wash around the eyes to the chunked-up opaque tread on a basketball. Inventive layering exposes negative spaces and outlines: the fronds of a fern both hide and reveal the leopard behind it. The artist has had no formal painting training; however, he has honed over the years a way of handling paint that is both expressive and technically innovative.

Keigo Takahashi, master printer at Keigo Prints, helped Sato to adapt his method of painting to a 13-color screenprint series for the show. “Soccer”, “Basketball” and “Baseball” each capture his unique painting style with silkscreens, while each piece has a hand-painted face. These mustachioed men resemble vintage trading cards, as many of Sato’s solo portraits do.

Koichi Sato (b. 1974, lives and works in New York) had his first solo show at Bill Brady Gallery in Miami, Florida. “Living In America” featured amazing paintings of Sato’s take on American life. Shows at Ross + Kramer Gallery and Woaw in Hong Kong were similarly explosive, as were group shows with Jeffrey Deitch and The Hole. More info on the artist HERE

 

Above: Beauty On The Duty, 2020, acrylic and oil on canvas, 72 x 60 inches, 183 x 152 cm
Email raymond@theholenyc.com for more information

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KSATO 11Life On The Duty, 2020, acrylic and oil on canvas, 72 x 60 inches, 183 x 152 cm

KSATO 12Jaguar Men, 2020, acrylic and oil on canvas, 72 x 60 inches, 183 x 152 cm

KSATO 13Dream Team 1992, 2020, acrylic and oil on canvas, 72 x 60 inches, 183 x 152 cm

KSATO 14Beauty On The Duty, 2020, acrylic and oil on canvas, 72 x 60 inches, 183 x 152 cm

KSATO 17Memory & Glory, 2020, acrylic and oil on canvas, 72 x 60 inches, 183 x 152 cm

KSATO 21American History 101, 2020, acrylic and oil on canvas, 72 x 60 inches, 183 x 152 cm

KSATO 22Watchin’ Ya Rainbow (Throw Ya Phone), 2020, acrylic and oil on canvas, 72 x 60 inches, 183 x 152 cm

KSATO 23Protect Ya Face, 2020, acrylic and oil on canvas, 72 x 60 inches, 183 x 152 cm

KSATO 18Soccer, 2020, 13-color screenprint with hand finishing on Coventry Rag 320gms, 24 x 15 inches, 61 x 46 cm, Edition of 5

KSATO 19Basketball, 2020, 10-color screenprint with hand finishing on Coventry Rag 320gms, 24 x 15 inches, 61 x 46 cm, Edition of 5

KSATO 20Baseball, 2020, 10-color screenprint with hand finishing on Coventry Rag 320gms, 24 x 15 inches, 61 x 46 cm, Edition of 5