Flowers Gallery is pleased to announce the first solo
presentation by London, UK-based artist, Jiro Osuga at Flowers, New York.
The title of the exhibition is derived from a painting made over
twenty years ago while Osuga was still a student at art school.
Back then, dissatisfied with the small intricate paintings that he
was making, Osuga took a nine foot piece of un-stretched canvas and
started filling it ad hoc with observations of the world around
him. Over the next three weeks the huge canvas gradually filled up
with an encyclopaedic array of images - of market stalls,
restaurants, flora, fauna and the solar system, until eventually, a
proscenium arch and an auditorium emerged, transforming the
painting into a theatre in which the whole world was presented on
The 'world as theatre' has remained a key metaphor in Osuga's
work ever since. Individual scenes from the original painting have
kept on reappearing on smaller canvases over the subsequent two
decades, and have supplied the content for the recent paintings
included in this show. Osuga is fascinated by what he describes as
"the maddening richness and complexity of the World". Exploring
everything from day-to-day activities to dreams and nightmares, he
draws upon his life experiences, both in his native Tokyo and
London, to create what is cumulatively a complete microcosmic stage.
The artist himself is often the lead player in this personal
theatre, at times dressed up in different guises. In one painting
he stars as a Roman legionary, while in the painting The Multitude,
he plays every man, woman, child and animal within sight.
Despite their apparent humor, many of the works have an
undertone of melancholy which Osuga likens to "the gulf between the
heightened fantasy on the glittering stage and the spectators in
the darkness of the auditorium." This theatrical metaphor suggests
the artist to be a detached observer of the spectacle of the world.
For the visitor to the exhibition however, the show promises to
be a fully participatory experience. Some of the works play with
the implied space between the viewer and the painting. Others are
interactive - hinged panels and strings unfold mini-narratives such
as a gunfight, a coin flip, or the peeling of a banana. By
manipulating the space both inside and outside the painting, Osuga
invites the viewer to enter the scene as a player in his theatre.