‘Year One’ by Loren Philip & Tomoaki Shibata @ Castelli Art Space

December 4, 2018

Year One was a triumphant opening at the Castelli Art Space for its feat in advancing Los Angeles contemporary fine art. While this does not deny the fact that many contemporary galleries in Los Angeles are well capable of providing the space for such an installation, Castelli is expanding the boundaries of the field of play for fine artists, rewarding such collaborative efforts which would otherwise be fruitless to endeavor. It is giving artists the courage to dream.

 

 

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Mr. Phillip and Mr. Shibata form an unlikely duo, and an uncanny dualism to their compositions. Their method is spontaneous, akin to dancing than to painting. And the method impressively succeeds in showering a dazzling display of abstract complexity which breathes a silent song of wonder into the gaze of every subject. The first notes are heard with the enrapturing dimensions and pseudo-mural curation which envelopes the audience. We have a sense of continuity within each composition, and yet also a sense of creative distinctness, that each canvas is its own universe.

 

 

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And within each of these cosmic gyrations is a bevy of abundant motion. Depending on the piece, texture and primary colors are layered over lines and shapes which do not provide boundaries as much as structure to the beautiful pandemonium. And, much like the cosmos, as the celestial soup is stirred, higher and higher forms of order emerge, albeit on a much more magnified scale. And it is this magnification which requires the subject to further probe and draw nearer to the artworks, as an element of wonder, which proves the art’s strength of quality.

 

 

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These higher ordered elements emerge as abstractly anthropomorphic and fantastical, with no conscientious rationale for their position, or for their substance. But this is what makes their work so grand! It has a pulse of mystery from a distance to a microscopic inspection. This sense of endlessness, of eternity, capable of being represented with paint, is a sight to behold.

 

I look forward to what year two will bring…

 

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