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Tim Okamura, Dope

Tim Okamura, Dope (2013), mixed media on canvas [Douglas Udell Gallery, Vancouver BC – Jun 14-28]

Tim Okamura: Her Story

Douglas Udell Gallery
Vancouver BC – Jun 14-28, 2014

Tim Okamura, Les Nubians Combat Pour L'Amour

Tim Okamura, Les Nubians Combat Pour L'Amour (2013), oil, mixed media on canvas [Douglas Udell Gallery, Vancouver BC – Jun 14-28]


Tim Okamura, The Pregnant Soldier

Tim Okamura, The Pregnant Soldier (2013), mixed media on canvas [Douglas Udell Gallery, Vancouver BC – Jun 14-28]


Tim Okamura, Love Your Self
Tim Okamura, Love Your Self (2014), oil, acrylic, aerosol paint on canvas [Douglas Udell Gallery, Vancouver BC – Jun 14-28]

Of all the visual arts, none has undergone as many sea changes, clear-cuts, reforestations and facelifts as painting. And yet of all this medium’s genres, big and small, portraiture endures.

In the 20-plus years since he left Alberta for New York, Tim Okamura has received numerous awards, high-profile commissions and exhibition invitations based on an approach to portraiture that has his subjects posing not in front of their holdings, as in past centuries, but in front of social-statement backdrops like those created by graffiti artists, taggers, trompe l’oeil muralists and poster hangers.

In his most recent body of work, Okamura continues to combine the “high” (oil-based, academic portrait techniques) with the “low” (urban street art), but in this instance he gives equal weight to the social contradictions that attend female subjectivity, often with violent undertones.

In The Pregnant Soldier (2013), a Caucasian woman in combat fatigues stands in profile, her belly accentuated. In Nubians Combat Pour L’Amour (2013), two African-American women in boxing gear pose for a fight poster. In Dope (2013), a blonde woman looks off, glassy-eyed, the word “peace” (and below that a gun) stencilled on the wall behind her.

douglasudellgallery.com

Michael Turner


 Sat, Jun 7, 2014