Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The orb paintings of Masakatsu Sashie

I am looking at art!

Specifically, the work of Masakatsu Sashie, a Japanese artist who created a series of paintings centered around the geometric shape of the orb.  These particular orbs, however, have a distinct futuristic sensibility to them.  Or perhaps post-apocalyptic is a more accurate phrase.

The orbs look composed of "found" materials.  This makes me think of "junkyard art," something I've seen done in our art department.  An artist goes through a trash pile, gathering up old pieces of metal, wood, or whatever can be found and then creating piece from what they collect.  The orb paintings conjure notions of a ball rolling across a cityscape.  This ball, either highly magnetic or coated with adhesive, draws up everything it comes into contact with, assimilating it into its orb-self.

It's bleak, but also entrancing.  Captivating, really.  If you look at the paintings, the composition of the orbs appear to be sheet metal, ventilation fans, vending machines, and arcade games.  There is even one composed entirely of fast food signs.  What statement is Masakatsu Sashie making on the here and now?  Then again, the backdrops for the orbs are consistently landscapes in decay.  Is this instead a warning of our future?

What is the role of the orb in the art?  Is it meant as a symbol of our current state of or road to dystopia?  Could it also be that the enormous orbs are here to watch civilization's inexorable decline in silence, just as would a full or gibbous moon?

I appreciate art that is open to multiple interpretations.  I have made a few, I now invite you to make your own.

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