442: Original Art from the Graphic Novel @ GR2 Gallery

April 18, 2018

At the iconoclastic Giant Robot Gallery there housed a collage of the fine workmanship of water colors on display from Rob Sato. Per the artist, this was a challenging, if not his most challenging, effort.


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Water color is a delicate medium. Improper admixture can lead to an enervation in potency from the aqueous dilution. There is also the balance of homogeneity of a given palette; say the luscious foliage of one particular tree. Mr. Sato was also limited to spatial perspectives, wherein he needed to convey fire power without the luxury of a typical horizontal spacing requirement.


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Before proceeding in the contemplation of the success of his efforts, it is no doubt original to use the medium in the application of war – even further in the ingenuity of expressing a historical fiction of Japanese American lore! Probably most precious and simultaneously onerous was in the depiction of catatonic explosions in a typically tranquil medium. It is reminiscent of a Band of Brothers artful depiction, yet the restrictions of water color compel us to enter a very intimate space, where the explosions of war are colorfully intense.


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The graphic aspect of the works must be appreciated. Mr. Sato sacrifices excruciating, ostentatious detail, for crisp storytelling; almost action arcade. It might have been careless to adopt pseudo-anime tropes of action violence, but the graphic novel does not have any stereotypical melodrama. And while most of the non-action drama is opaque to a gallery exhibitor without any captioned context, we can still admire the spectrum of actors on the world war stage illustrated.


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