Les Artistes

"Everybody is crazy, but me" april - july 2016

Born in Tokyo in 1971, he lives and works there.

Originally trained as an industrial designer, Naoto Kawahara switched to painting while living in Italy. In Florence, he learned to paint in the classical Western tradition, a tradition that’s completely foreign to his own culture. Kawahara paints portraits of young, naked women, whose porcelain skin and absent-minded look are shrouded in mystery. If the poses of these women appear familiar to Western eyes, it’s because they are inspired by masters of Western painting like Balthus, Magritte, Van Gogh or Degas. By mixing together Japanese canons of beauty with Western masterpieces, the artist questions the archetypes and concepts of beauty present in both cultures.