Self portrait as social portrait at the Earlville Galleries

Brooklyn Artist, Taku Saito: About Face, Earlville

From February 1st – March 15, 2014, the Earlville Galleries open a dramatic exhibit of new oil paintings on canvas by Taku Saito. The large self-portraits of About Face, Earlville measure 85 inches by 57 inches. All works are from 2013 and 2014.

self potrait 09-20-13 for Earlville web

Self portrait, September 20, 2013

In his Pratt Institute exhibit in 2010 (Steuben Gallery South), it was noted that…

“Although we often see others’ faces unavoidably on a street, in the office, papers or on TV, everyday social existence barely exists until people become conscious of it. Taku Saito is focusing on the most common sense of the figure: the face, to form the “everyday face” as social portrait…The faces are huge, staring ahead without any particular expression. In his painting, each dynamic brush stroke has significant meaning for the face. Dripping oil- colors on the canvas – which represent the theory of nature and gravity – are chaotic incidents, but also play an important role in composing the portrait. The drips parallel life and nature. People are prone to chaos but organize their lives in order to survive.”

Taku Saito was born in 1979, in Osaka, Japan.  He lives and works in New York.

Pratt Institute, MFA in Fine Arts 2010 ,  N.Y., USA
Tama Art University, MFA in Fine Arts 2006,  Tokyo, Japan
Tama Art University, BFA in Painting 2004,  Tokyo, Japan

The artist will be on hand to discuss his work at a public reception that will be held from noon to 3 pm on Saturday, February 1st.  Refreshments will be served, and admission is free.  The date also marks the opening of EOH’s 21st Annual KidsART exhibit in the West Gallery, with artwork from elementary students in Central New York schools on display.

The Earlville Opera House is located at 18 East Main Street in Earlville.  About Face, Earlville runs through March 15th.  EOH Galleries are open to the public from 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Friday, and on Saturdays from Noon to 3 pm.

06 Installation C

Taku Saito, exhibition

From Taku Saito Artist Statement:

One day, I read in the morning edition news “There are big train delays this morning due to an accident involving a person”, “There are more than ten thousand people affected because of the accident.” It meant there was a rail accident resulting in injury or death which is, unfortunately, common in Japan. I just felt sorry and also guiltily thought “again…” The news continued. “It seems that the casualty is a male whose age is approximately thirty to thirty-five-years old with shorthair, who got in the way of the train for some reason.” It was obviously suicide. Then my day continued as usual. It was not a good day for me at all because I knew that my colleague, who was also my rival and my friend as an artist, had committed suicide. I was talking and laughing after he died until I learned of his death. More shockingly, it didn’t take a long time to discover that the guy who was on the news, who ran into the oncoming train, was my friend and it was he who had committed suicide. I was puzzled by the fact that I knew his death in the morning edition news but he was not dead until I awoke. He was so anonymous. I had never felt such an invisible and profound link between me and “social” news. The event strongly affected my view the media since.

“My goal is to apprehend and come to a realization of what “the existent” is.”

ex·is·tent[ ig zíst’nt ]
1.  real: real or actual, not imagined or invented
2.  current: currently existing or in operation
3.  real thing: a real or living thing

“to some people, angels are as existent as aardvarks or astronomers” (Merriam online dictionary)


EOH events are made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and through the generosity of EOH members.  

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