Intricate, elaborate patterns and textures engulf the decadent scenes in the stunning paintings of artist Naomi Okubo. Luscious floral patterns swim across her compositions, beautifully combining and contrasting against complex, bold designs on carpets and wallpaper. Okubo work investigates the notion of identity through the lens of self-image and external appearance. Her unique process explores the façade of the constructed self-image, but also the elements of a person’s life that are revealed through this aesthetic as well. The artist pieces together and constructs her self-portraits by first combining them in Photoshop before carefully rendering them with acrylic paint. Okubo explains:
“To paint every part of the painting by my hand is kind of the way to take back reality for me.”
Interestingly enough, in each of her paintings, Okubo’s face cannot be seen by the viewer. Instead, she is facing away from the viewer; looking out into the horizon or her with her hair or her hand hiding her face. She often becomes part of the environment around her, blending in to the brilliant patterns that weave themselves throughout each corner of her compositions.
Originally from Tokyo, Okubo currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY as part of an artist-in-residence program. She has an MFA from Musashino Art University, and has exhibited her work in places like Tokyo, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, and NYC.