Brennan & Griffin is pleased to present Gibbous, a solo exhibition of new works by Naotaka Hiro. This is the artist's forth exhibition at the gallery. Over the last decade, Hiro has used his own body as a point of departure for his expansive practice. The unseen, unknown parts of his body have been the subject of scrutiny in his sculpture, painting, films and drawing.
Gibbous, Hiro's new life-size bronze sculpture, continues his method of casting his own body with his own hands, including what is within the limits of his reach. The self-casting process forces him to hold an awkward position for the duration of the drying time. The inevitable slight shifts and movements that occur while the mold is hardening result in the cast sculpture being a distorted, imperfect version of the artist's body. To make this new sculpture, Hiro illuminated his body with a single light source in a darkened room. Tracing only the sections of his body that were lit, the areas sunken in shadow are subtracted from the casting process, the mold of which is then cast in bronze resulting in an eclipsed effigy of the artist's form. The title, Gibbous, refers to a particular view of the moon: "having the observable illuminated part greater than a semicircle and less than a circle.
Similar to the process of his self-cast sculpture in which he wraps body in silicon, plaster and wax, Hiro's recent paintings are made by wrapping his body in unprimed canvas. Suspended by ropes and grommets, Hiro paints in various positions, cutting holes and slits in the canvas to gain access to paint specific angles. Painting within these self imposed restraints inside and outside of the canvas allows for different perspectives and outcome of mark making. Once unfurled and hung, Hiro's paintings bear traces of his exploration and subsequent limitations of his own body.
Fundamental to Hiro's entire practice are his drawings, direct outputs of raw imagery and meditations on the "Unknown" as it relates to his own body. Fragmented and dreamlike imagery depict rib cages, hair, legs, arms, eyes and genitals - twisted and distorted, elegant and attenuated - questioning the wholeness and knowability of the self.
Born in Osaka, Japan in 1972, Hiro relocated to Los Angeles in the late 90's to attend UCLA and CalArts. Recent notable exhibitions include: Protuberances, LAXART, Los Angeles, CA (2016), A Modest Proposal, Hauser & Wirth, New York, NY (2016), Men in LA: Three Generations of Drawers: Naotaka Hiro, Paul McCarthy, and Benjamin Weismannn (2014), The Box, Los Angeles; Misako & Rosen, Tokyo (Solo 2015) and RSVP Los Angeles; Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, CA (2015). Public Collections include MoMA, New York, NY.