Kazuki Takamatsu Imagines Escape Through Haunting Winged Portraits

Kazuki Takamatsu Imagines Escape Through Haunting Winged Portraits

Ask anyone and they’ll tell you 2020 was a rough year. Sprawling wildfires, impeachment, and a novel virus with strange side effects top the year in bad news. One artist imagines escape from the bonds of earthly suffering with a new series of ethereal winged portraits in black and white. Opening virtually January 16 at Los Angeles’ Corey Helford Gallery, Kazuki Takamatsu’s Your Wings reflects on the conflict between personal freedom and the constraints of living in larger social groups.

“The show tells a story that begins with my piece ‘Feathers and Masks’ and ends with ‘Your Wings,’” says Takamatsu. “The wing is a symbol of hope for freedom…all together, the works are based on the different meanings of the word ‘wings.’”

Takamatsu’s haunting images are created using a unique “depth-mapping” technique the artist engineered by combining classic mediums with computer graphics.

The theme of the show was inspired by LA artist Colette Miller’s Global Angel Wings Project, which Takamatsu spied on Melrose Ave. during his last trip to LA in 2019. The interactive public murals allow visitors to photograph themselves posed in front of a pair of outstretched wings, an activity that resonated with Takamatsu. “I made this work with the hope that many people can freely go out and enjoy galleries in the near future,” he says.

Your Wings introduces fourteen of the Japanese artist’s mixed media pieces, plus two new rainbow-colored works. Regarding his new show, Takamatsu says: “I wanted to make the exhibition hopeful, not just black and white. After living a full year of self-restraint, due to COVID-19, feelings such as wanting to see my friends and go on trips became stronger and stronger. Suddenly, I thought I could go anywhere with wings.”

Your Wings runs January 16 through February 29, 2021 at Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles. Please note the physical gallery is closed due to a state-wide COVID-19 mandate, but the show is available for viewing online starting November 14.

For more information, please visit the gallery.

‘Your Wings’
‘3 Choices’
‘When to Form Your Feelings’
‘Thoughts on Freedom’
‘It’s Time to Release (a Piece of the Rainbow)’

Morgan  Laurens 

Morgan Laurens (she/her/hers) is NOT REAL ART’s editor in chief. Morgan is an arts writer from the Midwest who enjoys saying “excuse me” when no actual pardon is needed. She specializes in grant writing and narrative-based storytelling for mission-driven artists and arts organizations. With a background in printmaking, pop culture, and classic literature, Morgan believes a girl’s best friend is the pile of books on her bedside table.