The Flat Faces of Tatsuhito Horikoshi

Inspired by the celebrity portraits of American painter Elizabeth Peyton, Tokyo-based artist Tatsuhito Horikoshi (born 1985) enjoys depicting those whom he admires. But while Peyton draws her references from reality (film stars and rock stars), Tatsuhito’s subjects are characters of his own imagination.

A graduate of Tama Art University, he says: “As I grew up watching manga, animation and illustration, I can only draw manga-like portraits with relatively flat facial figures. I also naturally think that they are attractive. I started drawing portraits because I like photographs. I am easily touched and amazed by a photograph. I try to keep that emotional feeling in mind at all times. When I look at my own work, I am always very careful and try to be as objective as possible. As all sorts of outrageous happenings go on in this world, I maintain a distance and isolate myself from them. I try to be alone in the middle of a chaotic tornado. Such an emotion serves as an exceedingly important factor behind the making of my works.”

Tatsuhito’s portraits of boys and girls are indeed flat but they speak volumes through gestures and clothing and props. Some are touching, some rather creepy. The artist is interested in exploring both the purity and the impurity of the human soul. He loves drawing an “unclear body”, things that are “not understandable”.

Apart from Japan, Tatsuhito’s works have been exhibited in Hong Kong, Taipei, South Korea, Singapore and France. He is represented in Japan by Ohshima Fine Art Gallery.

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Images used with permission.


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Blue Water


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