Grotesque Mysticism: The Art of Zakuro Aoyama

Brazil-based Zakuro Aoyama’s highly detailed, imaginatively macabre drawings and paintings are strongly appealing to me. Reminiscent of Takato Yamamoto’s work (who is my favorite artist along with Vania Zouravliov), they are fascinatingly intricate, luring the eye in with strange phantasmal layers and concentrities of flesh-like threads. Both ethereal and carnal, the images are wickedly beautiful, conveying a sense of playfulness, of invitation, and of corrupted purity. They seem to take inspiration from old Japanese kaidan and from French Symbolism, among other things. Their delicate boldness is refined as well as sensational, permeated with a melancholy eroticism.

The molten, striated textures of the paint are tantalizingly lovely. Aoyama skillfully pairs the spectral with the corporeal. I also love the way in which he combines swirling, hazy, yet full-colored, surreal backgrounds with the precision and meticulous delicateness of his linework. The solid lushness of the color is satisfying and provides body where there is a certain quality of vaporousness and highly-wrought elegance, giving an overall effect that is both elusive and gripping. The encrustations, the enameled and elaborated nature of these visions, are abysmally intriguing.

I had previously posted about Zakuro Aoyama, but he had not yet introduced color into his work – an element which I think has added a sumptuous gorgeousness and a further depth to his art that make it even more richly eerie.

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