Kenji’s Art Sundays

November 26, 2006

Every Sunday, Beats Entropy will showcase a painting of mine and I will describe the ideas, processes and technique I used to realize it.

Please feel free to comment; anything is welcome including criticisms.

Today’s Piece:

Title: CityEscape
Medium: Ink on Paper
Size: Approx. 17″ x 21″

The city is often a dizzying, demoralizing place to be. It can also be a place of sinful pleasures, where the nighttime can dominate over the daytime as a backdrop for many human activities. The divisions we create between work and play and inspiration and desperation make our lives resemble a continual cycle of freedom and imprisonment. Frequently, to escape the oppressiveness of a city, people look for the specific type of material pleasure that suits their personality- like a key that unlocks their prison cell.

This concept is depicted in the piece, and instead of just focusing on one material pleasure, it shows the tantalizing array of ‘keys’ that a city can provide. From left to right: the internet, art and music, aggression, spirituality, drugs, sexual fetishism, and driving (technology). Looking through the key-ring, the viewer sees the various routes emanating from each key laid before them, as the moon looms above, powerful like an enormous eye.

Done with ink on paper, this piece was a really nice exploration of composition and form. I could play with overall symmetry and yet vary the smaller details a lot, and all the objects involved were very basic, lucid forms that could be arranged intricately but without cluttering the whole. Also, because of the nature of the setting, many of the lines could be merely ‘suggested’ rather than actually drawn, which further helped simplify things (and thus allow a complex layout). I played with perspective by warping the buildings outward, rather than inward (the way they should realistically be). This created a stronger sense of freedom and eliminated any potential parallel vertical lines which would’ve made the background monotonous.

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Copyright 2006 Kenji Toyooka


One Response to “Kenji’s Art Sundays”

  1. Queen Minx Says:

    Could it be … that once you step through the keyring, you hear the city-cell-door lock behind you?

    That the city let’s you in, you think you are escaping but … the city locks you in, with all of those keys?


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