Inner Harvest: Koichi Sato's Unique Version of Pop-Culture
Jack Hanley Gallery is excited to present a solo exhibition with new paintings by Koichi Sato. While growing up in Tokyo, Japan and before moving to New York in the late 90s, Koichi Sato was fascinated with old American magazines that portrayed the sports players, sitcom stars, astronauts and cheerleaders of American pop culture. The language of his paintings is strongly informed by the pictures in those magazines, and gives them a distinct vintage feel that is evoked through thick mus- taches and style choices of the 70s and 80s.
These joyful group portraits focus on musicians and music groups posing and playing their instruments in various settings, including the New York City subway and unknown lands of mountains and rain- bows. The groups face the viewer, laughing and proudly presenting themselves. Their inventiveness becomes especially clear when taking a closer look at the figures’ fingers in which their polydactyly is based on Sato’s personal decision-making when he thinks ‘there are enough’.
A vivacious and playful application of paint with short brush strokes and dots is paired with a lighter, washy technique seen around their faces, with drippings sometimes running down the surface. With the combination of the painting techniques and bursts of color paired with an imagery synthesized from different places, times and cultures, the paintings feel like a celebration of life itself.