Studio Visit

Tat Ito in his studio.

Tat Ito in his studio.

by Lily Koto Olive

New York based artist Tat Ito explores themes of human interconnectedness by juxtaposing elements and iconography that stem from his native Japanese culture set against a Western viewpoint. Sprawling environments echo Baroque and Rococo landscapes, while manga-like characters populate the lively surfaces. The influence of Japanese printmaking is evident in the way Ito handles space and compositional decisions, often utilizing gold leaf cloud and wave shapes. These metallic liquid shapes float on top of his environments, but never blending into the lush surfaces beneath.

Like Bosch and Bruegel, Ito invents his own worlds teeming with the characters he creates. His paintings reflect the familiar urban experience of being surrounded while also feeling completely alone. Read More


Interview and Studio Visit / January, 2012
Conversation with Jonathan Beer, Trudy Benson and Lily Koto Olive

A painting in progress on Trudy Benson's studio wall.

A painting in progress on Trudy Benson's studio wall.

Jonathan Beer: Your work seems to hang in the balance between abstraction and illusion – it’s full of emblematic fragments, painterly mark, different textures, all coming forming a definite kind of space – How did your work get to this point? Read More

by Jonathan Beer

Ali Banisadr in the studio.

Since Expressionism artists have used painting to confront the interior world, wrestling to create with what German artist Willi Baumeister called “the self-engendered vision.”  Like a prospector, an artist searches through layers of self-made bedrock and sediment, mining for a vein to follow. Many artists are enchanted by this parallel interior place, a zone where the fabric of reality is twisted and altered by the subconscious, intersected by memories and augmented by the imagination. It is a constantly shifting place, populated by things which have no name. There is no guidebook. A thorough investigation of the psychological is found in both abstract and representational work, from the disconcerting worlds of Yves Tanguy and Kay Sage to the imposing paintings of Milton Resnick and Mark Rothko. Somewhere between abstraction and figuration the psychological has re-emerged in the painterly fictions of Ali Banisadr.

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