Sunday, July 25, 2010

artists you should know about part II: Yumiku Utsu

I stumbled across Yumiku Utsu's photography three times tonight during a visit to the excellent art bookstore/gallery Nadiff in Tokyo, and I'm so glad I did.

First I noticed her visceral depictions of eroticized shellfish and walnuts in the Australian food-as-art mag Condiment, which is well worth a look in and of itself.

Then I noticed a poster hanging near the gallery entrance of the eerie-looking cat photograph below (spoiler: not the cat's real eyes).

Finally I came across her totally sexy full-color book Out of the Ark, which accompanied her solo show at Nadiff's G/P gallery in 2009. The catalogue contains hundreds of the most drippingly graphic combinations of insects, toys, seafood, chocolate, and found photography you can imagine - funny and gorgeous and disturbing all at once. What I really enjoy about her work is how skillfully she manages to merge two- and three-dimensional images with her camera, something I've been particularly interested in these days.

Thus far it looks like Out of the Ark is only available in Japan, but here's hoping that it - and Utsu's work- finds itself overseas soon. Thus far Utsu has had shows in Budapest, Korea, China and her native Japan, but no U.S. appearances to date. Curators take note!

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