Naotaka Hiro

United States

The human body, unknown

“The depressing fact is that my body is only understandable to myself when considered through a mediated form”

The body is a mystical, complex thing and Naotaka Hiro’s artwork serves to explore it. For the Japanese born, California resident artist, art stems from an idea of the unknown. Specifically, the unknowability of his body parts he can’t see. He creates sculpture, paintings and live installations that unpack the notion that we can only see certain parts of our bodies through a mediated form; either a camera lens or a mirror. His imagination spans in directions that promise to surprise and move the looker, or even catch them unawares.

Deeply influenced by his historical and contemporary art peers, Naotaka cites Matisse, Luis Buñuel, William Blake’s watercolor drawings and even the writings of Louise Bourgeois as some of his inspirations. His multi-faceted and ever-shifting body of work has been exhibited everywhere from Los Angeles’ Hammer Museum to New York’s Hauser & Wirth to Paris’ Centre d’Art Contemporain. The portrait you see here of Naotaka was taken by renowned art documenter Fredrik Nilsen.