oscar oiwa
rescue boat, 2013
oil on canvas
227 x 333 cm

Press Release

On May 14, at 7PM, Oscar Oiwa opens his first exhibition at Galeria Nara Roesler. Clima tempestuoso [Stormy weather] gathers 12 paintings created in the last two years, all being shown in Brazil for the first time. The show runs until June 15.

The works depict disasters (natural or man-caused), violent weather events, political misconceptions and states of emergency with Oscar Oiwa’s traits of fantasy.

One may recognize in his canvases the influence of great masters of ukiyo-e, painting style developed in Japan between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. In Rescue Boat, for an example, tidal waves threaten to swallow a big ship, making use of typically Japanese aesthetics and theme.

This homage to the Japanese masters, however, is coupled with absolutely global and contemporary issues such as the allusion to the Superdome, which housed the victims of Hurricane Katrina in the work of suggestive title Swirl, 2012, or references to great works of art many ciphers going under the bridge in the post-crisis world of the painting Occupy everywhere, with an open reference to the Occupy movement.

The work of Oscar Oiwa is a direct result of his itinerancy: son of a Japanese couple, the artist born in São Paulo moved to Tokyo during the apex of the economic crisis. Then to London, and in 2002, upon receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship, he settled in New York where he lives and works. These different stays have implemented his familiarity with ghost stories, daily news, horror movies and comics in his vision of the urban world.

In critical text about the exhibition, Marilyn Zeitlin concludes: ”Oiwa cannot turn his eyes away from the world around him. He makes us able to feel and think in new ways about that world. He uses his awareness of a large world, his wit, his imagination, and his tremendous skills as an artist to transform the terrible into something we are capable of pondering.”

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