For the 2010/2011 season, NY Coo Gallery is honored to present Eiji Matsukubo’s 「9029 & Now」; the artist’s first solo exhibition in NY.
Matsukubo was born in Kumamoto prefecture, Japan. He earned his BFA and MFA at Tama Art University and soon after held his own exhibitions in his hometown and Tokyo. He was very active in promoting his own art work and eventually attained exhibitions overseas in Korea and New York. In 1984, he received Japan’s Graphic Parco Award in addition to many others. In 2005, he achieved his Grand Prix award at the first annual NY Coo Gallery Open Art Contest.
In the year 1985 he moved to the East Village, one of the center of American art, where his true art identity formed. Ironically, it all began at a fish market where he worked to put food on the table. To give an example, there is the idea of “Gestalt (configuration).” The concept itself is already hard to grasp from a theoretical perspective, yet, he discovered its true meaning while working at this fish market. The rest is history; he was able to discover his own definition and style of art. He sees “art” as something ordinary that does not distinguish itself as a special matter. Art is abstract expressionism; however, he goes beyond it to add his own storyline which he believes is integral to art. Living in an era in which pop art is currently becoming more familiar, he is trying to define and support his own style of art through “anti-pop” perspective.
Then tragedy struck. He was diagnosed with ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, the same disease that renowned physicist Stephen Hawking suffers from and the basis of the book, “Tuesdays with Morrie.” ALS is a disease that affects muscle movement due to damage to the central nervous system. It is considered progressive and fatal; it eventually leads to inability to control all voluntary movements, including the ability to breathe. His condition is still at an early stage, yet he regretfully decided to leave NY to face his reality. In order to have an appropriate closure to a place where it all started, he decided to have his solo exhibition in NY.
The exhibition title, 「9029 & Now」, the 9029 signifies the exact number of days that has elapsed since he first stepped out of the plane on December 16, 1985 at JFK airport. His life did take a sudden turn, yet he wants to face his reality with strength and he hopes to portray his 25 years in NY from all perspectives. He hopes to grasp the viewers’ attention by showing that his artwork goes beyond self-control and God’s blessings have added more flavor to his own artwork.
The theme for the exhibition is “water.” It is named for water’s continuous cycle; its vitality and necessity for human and other life forms. In another words, water gives the strength to live in the same way that are given him the strength to carry on.
He recognizes and realized the differences in concept between "comprehension" and "ability to express"; the fact that he respects Twombly and Richter shows that Eiji Matsukubo is definitely a philosophical-oriented artist.
To keep and enhance the true beauty from vivid colors is something difficult to achieve, yet he finds two- dimensional art as most fascinating and alluring rather than any other forms of art, i.e. 3D. More than “drawing” pictures per se, he is into “smearing” colors to create his art pieces. At this exhibition, there will be twenty paintings as well as several computer-graphic paintings.
Please come and enjoy Eiji Matsukubo’s 25 years of momentous life experiences he encountered in New York depicted through his artworks.