Something’s Fishy: The Surrealism of Kosuke Ajiro

ドロップ (Drop)

This week we feature the dreamy surrealism of Japanese artist Kosuke Ajiro. I’d like to tell you a little background on this artist, but the Internet was stingy in coming up with biography info. A website and a very basic Pinterest page produced some excellent work, but gleaned little personal information other than Ajiro is an illustrator, painter and graphic designer from Tokyo who enjoys fishing.

Iron SeaThat last part is readily apparent in the work seen here, as fish and other sea creatures are very often the central figures, and much of the work is set near, on, or under water. Even what looks like a land-locked village scene (“決闘 (Duel)”), features what looks like a sea serpent rises from a fountain.

Typically, greens and blues dominate, although Ajiro uses a varied palette of muted colors along with interesting, sometimes jarring, shapes to produce surreal, almost abstract effects. If some of the work looks multi-dimensional, it’s because Ajiro often works in a collage-like cut-and-paste style, evident here in “Sakana 2.”

The work is quiet and contemplative, yet not without a touch of subtle whimsy. Look closely and you’ll see traditional Japanese influences, as well as modern masters like Heironymous Bousch, Joan Miro and Paul Klee. We may not know much about the artist, about influences, motivations or visions, but the excellent art of Kosuke Ajiro speaks for itself. Check out the gallery after the jump.

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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14 Responses to Something’s Fishy: The Surrealism of Kosuke Ajiro

  1. patriciamoed says:

    Another great post! How did you hear of this artist? I love the dreamy, almost surrealistic style.

  2. Hey, Stephen. Time for my favorite feature on your site. I really like this artist’s work, and despite the jarring note which you mention, I find it strangely restful and sympathetic. I would like to have a print of his work on my wall someday (assuming that I ever have room for a new print–my walls are full at the moment). It is dream-like, as your previous commenter mentions, and it provokes thoughts about the odd juxtapositions the mind comes up with in sleep, or so it seems to me.

  3. angelinahue says:

    Thanks for sharing & I definitely see some inspiration from Klee (especially with the dark backgrounds + fishing themes in some of them)

  4. Thanks, Angeline … I appreciate your visit (and comment)!

  5. viveka says:

    I saw an email about you had a new post – and deleted it .. but here it’s. This artist and I get along very well – and especially his “Drop” – the main piece in this post. Any of his pieces will lite up my everyday if I could afford it – not really a surrealism fan, but there is both artists and art that talks very loud to me. Thanks for sharing … and I wish you a great weekend.

  6. ninano says:

    I’m happy you introduced me to this Japanese artist. I will take a look at your other posts.

  7. Madhu says:

    Amazing work! I find ‘Iron Sea’ particularly striking!

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