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Stuart Nakamura

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Birth year

Lives in

Works in

CCA (California College of the Arts)



As an artist currently working in the public art realm, my background in drawing and painting go back to an appreciation of shapes, forms, texture, pattern, and composition as key elements which help me respond to thematic concepts to convey emotional or psychological messages in my figurative work.  The human form has been the focus of expressing content, especially in my charcoal drawing series, “Domestic Dialogues,” and “Swimmers.”

The former is a study of dynamic tensions often between two people which began as random observations of the interaction between people in public situations, and then dramatized through altered poses and environmental situations in the drawings.  The play of light and shadow, plant shapes, and minimalist backgrounds accentuate the content matter; in some cases the environment suggests the figures are placed in arboretums, which always held my interest for its white-washed window panes and the resulting natural lighting.

The inspiration for the “Swimmers” series comes from my personal experience in childhood where visual memory of the reflection patterns of the water surface upon the floor of the pool resulted from spending much of my childhood swimming.  I also realized, too, that there is a horizon beneath the water when looking from deep end to the shallow end.  An attempt to capture the shimmering quality of the reflection pattern and how this feature could be used with the human form to suggest a feeling of weightlessness when swimming was my initial response to this series.  Eventually, the dynamic tension between the figures, which crept in after the “Domestic Dialogues” series was used to heighten the composition, and vice versa.

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