The simple, minimal appearance of Osamu Kobayashi’s compositions belies the artist’s painstaking process. He paints thick, sweeping marks with a wide brush. “What looks to be an effortless stroke is actually a process of masking off entire areas, loading and reloading the brush multiple times, and redoing the mark countless more times to achieve the one I think is most successful,” he explained. “It’s important for me to capture something that feels improbable, to have the work hover between reality and illusion.”
Kobayashi’s titles offer simple, accessible starting points for the viewer. Drip (2019) draws the eye to the vertiginous, pink-and-yellow pendant that hangs between the royal-purple volume that takes up most of the canvas. Yet the even, exquisitely textured brush strokes on that volume soon become the focal point as they cascade down the canvas and around the yellow drip, then glide back upwards before elegantly exiting the canvas. The longer you look, the more the flat, deceptively straightforward composition appears almost theatrical.