Naoto Hattori was born in 1975 in Yokohama, Japan. Raised as a child in the Japanese traditional arts and culture, he plunged into modern pop culture as a teenager, becoming enthralled in board sports like surfing and skateboarding, street art and graffiti. He studied graphic design in Tokyo, before moving to New York to study at the School of Visual Arts in 2000. He currently lives and works in New York City.
A mass of influences, especially early surrealist legends Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Hieronymus Bosch and Salvador Dali, Hattori’s work show an astonishing range, from sublime portraits of robotic-like women to bizarre landscapes populated by creatures straight out of a nightmare. His Japanese influences are evident in his penchant for kawaii (Japanese for cute) sensibilities.
Inspired by Buddhist philosophy and proverbs, Hattori’s works often deal with the inner workings of the mind and eyes and heads (both human and animal) are the focal point. The chaos that often runs rampant inside a creative brain is visualized as geometric shapes and biomorphic masses.
Not surprisingly, Hattori has this to say about his singular art and vision: “My vision is like a dream, whether it’s a sweet dream, a nightmare, or just a trippy dream. I try to see what’s really going on in my mind, and that’s a practice to increase my awareness in stream-of-consciousness creativity. I try not to label or think about what something is supposed to be, I just take it in as it is and paint whatever I see in my mind with no compromise. That way, I create my own vision.”
Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the dark yet inspired dreamscapes of Naoto Hattori.
Check out Naoto Hattori’s website to see a full range of his astonishing work.