Feel Better Now?
Open Doors Gallery is delighted to present Kensuke Koike’s latest collection, ‘Feel Better Now?‘. The unique silkscreen prints that make up this series mark a new direction in Koike’s experimental practice. Continuing the artist’s career-long fascination with the possibilities found within an image. As the artist says “this series will help me to expand further a way of seeing and thinking… to find something extraordinary from ordinary.”
‘Feel Better Now?‘ leans on the themes set out within the Dadaist & Pop Art movement. By selecting just one image the artist can create infinite variations. Experimenting with the repetition of a single portrait the artist uses the silkscreen process to explore new pathways within his practice. Switching the blade for a squeegee allows mistakes or ‘happy accidents’ to complement and transform his practice for the first time. Much like a painter might sometimes welcome a misguided stroke or an unexpected drip of paint. By changing his medium the precision he is used to in his two main bodies of work to date Todays Curiosity & Single Image Processing is substituted for a more painterly solution._
“When directly working on unique vintage work, I never accept mistakes in executing the final cut. Because making a mistake during the operation is a failure for a doctor… But this time, I’m enjoying making a mistake, if something goes wrong, if I like it, I accept it.”
Little is known of the subject Kensuke Koike has selected to use for this series. The artist often acquires his vintage prints from flea markets local to his studio in Venice or when traveling. So the best guess is she is an Italian woman, printed in the 40s or 50s. She wears an expression reminiscent of Sandro Botticelli’s paintings. Neutral and an almost melancholic or knowing look. Whilst the original vintage prints history and her expression can be important, the truth is that this is not what particularly interest’s Kensuke. It could have been almost anyone. The meaning is instead derived from the artist’s interventions over time and the contemporary energy he manages to inject into each print. Constantly searching for the beautiful constellations and formations that at first seem impossible.
Kensuke Koike’s main vein of creative exploration is his ‘No More, No Less’ philosophy. In ‘Feeling Better Now?‘ this continues to be the cornerstone of his work. The idea of using only the assets within an image to find a new contemporary configuration. It is designed to challenge him to reach for innovative and creative solutions. Although at first glance this new series may seem like a complete divergence from these rules, the principles are still the same with this new series. However the possibilities and the boundaries for what is possible with the image have been reset. Importantly allowing the artist the freedom to determine sizes, paper types and to continue to play with his artistic intuitions and instincts but in a more boundless way. Utilising all the skills and tools he has acquired over this period of research to fuel the creation of an exciting new chapter.
“I need a free field where I can explore a new possibility. So as I continue to work, I’ll leave some trace of memory. So that I can develop in a free mind.”
Artwork from this new ongoing series will be on display for the first time at Approche, 2023, Paris with Open Doors Gallery.
Open Doors Gallery is Kensuke Koike’s UK representative
For the full catalogue of available work, contact:
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