Makiko Kudo says that she depicts landscapes “that I have passed everyday but suddenly begin to shine.” Scenes that are perceived separately in reality are linked dynamically in dreams. When we wake up, the emotions we felt during a dream retain their intensity even if we cannot remember the details. This sensation is similar to what we experience when looking at Kudo’s paintings. The calculated and precise composition contrasts with the primitive brushwork, creating a chaotic sense of vibrant energy mixed up with vivid color. Girls and small animals are incorporated in the landscape. Luxuriant vegetation is unified with buildings that appear miniaturized and the scene is connected to fragmentary emotions.
Curator and critic David Pagel, in a review of a Makiko Kudo show, noted the similarities between her work and Monet’s water lilies, Rousseau’s dreamy realism, and Matisse’s Fauvism. Pagel concluded, “Her poignant works bring intimacy and introspection to the whiplash graphics of the anime generation. The paradox of being unable to escape a place that never really felt like home is Kudo’s great subject.”