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.”
In Makiko Kudo’s paintings, a mental image-landscape unfolds within which both things she encounters in daily life and the dream-like world of her imagination that have formed a single-harmonized entity. Her audacious compositions are over-brimmed with a sense of chaotic liveliness, dynamic yet detailed brushstrokes, balanced vibrant colors, and the multiple settings and perspectives which develop simultaneously within them. What she paints is the synthesis of things she herself has unconsciously witnessed in reality, the world she has personally experienced, and the beings around her that she shares her intimate feelings with. Kudo’s detailed bold brushstroke creates the superb orchestra of colors and forms, and her motifs released from memories and personal experiences give an impression that weighs on the hearts of the viewers, precisely as if we ourselves are experiencing a great undulation of sensitivity with our half-forgotten childhood memories.
Makiko Kudo was born in 1978 in Aomori Prefecture. In 2002 she graduated from the Oil Painting department of Joshibi University of Art and Design. Kudo’s paintings have been acquired by the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Olbricht Collection, the Japan Foundation, the Takahashi Collection and Saatchi Collection. Her latest solo exhibition was held at Tomio Koyama Gallery (2016) and at Wilkinson Gallery London, UK (2015) and the latest group exhibitions include “TIGER TIGER” at Salon94 Bowery, NY, USA (2015) and the 2014 Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery show “The Way of Painting”and “Body Language” at the Saatchi Gallery, London in 2013.