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Oddly-Shaped Canvases: Art by Tomokazu Matsuyama

A diptych on two irregularly shaped canvsesMother Ship, acrylic and mixed media on canvas

Tokyo-born Tomokazu Matsuyama is a painter who works with bright colours and oddly-shaped canvases to create works that really draw the viewer in. Matsuyama is currently based in New York.


A simplified robot shaped like the BuddhaBuddhamaton, wood, electronic motor, acrylic, metal, styrofoam, paper

 In conjunction with a sculptural and installation-based practice that uses equally bright colours and simplified, pop-culture forms, Matsuyama’s canvas compositions seems influenced by classic pop-art as well as illustrative styles from contemporary artists. The artist’s works tend to incorporate traditional Japanese symbolism with American references like Lego figurines. Stylistically, his sculptures range from minimalist to pop to hyper-realist. Some of the artist’s works remind me a little bit of the collage-esque works of Alejandro Leon.


I really love the artist’s use of shaped canvases – it really adds an extra level of interest to paintings that are already quite enthralling. The technical expertise that must be involved in building and stretching such canvases also speaks to the artist’s level of skill and dedication. 


A round painting with bright colours and geometric shapesWhat Still Remains, acrylic and mixed media on canvas

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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