That’s So Gouache: The Depth Map Art of Kazuki Takamatsu

Hi everybody … and if I haven’t said so already … Happy New Year! I’ve been a little slow out of the gate as we march boldly into 2013, and maybe that because the prospect of facing a full year that ends in the number 13 is really freaking me out. That’s 365 days, for crying out loud! But we can discuss that particularly phobia at another time, because it’s Thursday, and here’s my first artist profile of the new year!

A Larger ShareThis week I’d like to introduce you to the truly mind-boggling art of Tokyo-based artist and sculptor Kazuki Takamatsu. By now you’re probably scratching your heads, wondering as I did, “How the heck does he do that?” Are they paintings? Computer generated 3D models? Or some bizarre yet beautiful hybrid?

The answer is that Takamatsu marries digital imaging and traditional painting techniques, combining acrylic and gouache painting with modern Depth Map techniques, which adds a realistic 3-D depth field effect to the drawn objects that appears to glow like a hologram.

But aside from his technique, it’s the themes of his work that are truly challenging. Takamatsu uses his art as a platform for social comment and criticism, which range from gun cultures, electronic information, eco-instability, peer pressure and the ever-increasing loss of identity in an electronic age.

His images present an almost childlike dreamscape of young, nubile girls who seem at once innocent and corrupted  (“Too Much Information”, “Hunting”) , and their ghostlike appearance strips them of human identity. Things may look dreamlike, but the very real world threat of guns and violence are still ever-present, something to think about in these gun crazy times.

His work is psychedelic, mesmerizing, haunting, sensual, disturbing, thought-provoking and utterly original. Ladies and gentlemen, I present the art of Kazuki Takamatsu.

About Stephen Kelly Creative

Hi, I'm Stephen Kelly, a writer, editor, photographer and graphic designer living in beautiful San Francisco, CA, USA. Amongst the things I love are writing, photography, movies, music, fitness, travel, Batman, all things Australian, food and fun, all of which I hope to reflect in this here blog. Welcome aboard ... now let's get busy!
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21 Responses to That’s So Gouache: The Depth Map Art of Kazuki Takamatsu

  1. I think these are some of the most beautiful and troubling images you’ve published!

  2. Pat says:

    They are amazing. He seems to prefer the female body – I feel cheated. 🙂 And I am also glad to hear I’m not the only one freaked out with the 13 bit – amazing because I don’t let many things bother me. It amazed me a little that there was no public commentary about it – at least in the things I read. Maybe we will just have to be weird together and in hushed silence.

  3. Angeline M says:

    Wow. Creative to say the least. Interesting.
    I just thought of the 13 thing the other day, and like Pat, never heard anyone mention that as the year rang in. I think people were so relieved that we got past 12/21 that they didn’t mind 2013.

  4. ilargia64 says:

    Hi Stephen!!! Disturbing indeed!!! But I have to say I like very much most of them!!!! “Guardian” I could choose if pressed…
    The use of the skulls together with these children…It is like during the XVII century…”Tempus fugit”…Life is fragile and death starts from the very beginning of life…
    Thanks for sharing these works with us…And thanks for coming back!

  5. viveka says:

    This is amazing … and Happy New Year to you too. Don’t really what so say .. because I’m so taken by his art. If could have one for free … and choice was mine – would I chose the one with the floating woman .. handbag and book.

    Thank you ever so much for sharing this with me – I’m stunned – how creative and clever this Kazuki are.

  6. petit4chocolatier says:

    Stephen, these are wonderful. Eerie, futuristic, out of the box, fresh, frightening, and so much more. I love them!!

  7. Madhu says:

    Mind-boggling indeed! And I love that three dimensional quality. Thought they were glass sculptures before I read your text 🙂

  8. Debby Magliaro says:

    These are all so amazing and quite haunting at the same time.

  9. Creepy! But you know, beautiful! 😉

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