Keita Morimoto | The Nightwatchers
Unrequited fantasies surround these figures painted by Keita Morimoto. Interactions are held remotely and indirect. Lofty desires and unreal expectations of the ideals are often met with disappointments. Emotional and ambivalent nature pays homage to the extreme tangibleness of Rembrandt. Beneath the glorification, these portraits subtly reveal escapist ideals of how we desire to exhibit ourselves.
Through this body of work, Morimoto explores multiple realities that exist in today’s escapist youth culture, in which fantasies and digital variations of the self become realer than what can be expressed in reality. Inspired by Rembrandt’s highly convincing recreation of reality on the two dimensional plane, Morimoto seeks to mirror and respond to his own experiences of emotional investment in the metaphysical world that exists behind a small screen. The paintings become an actualization of those glorified characters, who wait behind a canvas for the day they can begin to breath and live out of the fictional world.
Keita Morimoto’s exhibition at MOCCA is the culmination of a project by artist Paul Butler at the Art Gallery of Ontario during Nuit Blanche, 2011. Butler organized The Other Painting Competition, an art competition for emerging artists that featured life-painting contests designed by established artists. Morimoto won the 12-hour painting challenge receiving a solo exhibition in the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art’s retail space.