Makiko Kudo says that she depicts landscapes "that I have passed everyday but suddenly begin to shine." Scenes that are perceived separately in reality are linked dynamically in dreams. When we wake up, the emotions we felt during a dream retain their intensity even if we cannot remember the details. This sensation is similar to what we experience when looking at Kudo's paintings. The calculated and precise composition contrasts with the primitive brushwork, creating a chaotic sense of vibrant energy mixed up with vivid color. Girls and small animals are incorporated in the landscape. Luxuriant vegetation is unified with buildings that appear miniaturized and the scene is connected to fragmentary emotions.
Curator and critic David Pagel, in a review of a Makiko Kudo show, noted the similarities between her work and Monet's water lilies, Rousseau's dreamy realism, and Matisse's Fauvism. Pagel concluded, "Her poignant works bring intimacy and introspection to the whiplash graphics of the anime generation. The paradox of being unable to escape a place that never really felt like home is Kudo's great subject."
About the Artist
Makiko Kudo was born in Aomori prefecture in 1978. She graduated in painting from Joshibi University of Art and Design in 2002. During the same year, she participated in two group shows, "Fragile Figures" (Palette Club, Tokyo and Marianne Boesky, New York), curated by Tomio Koyama, and "Tokyo Girls Bravo" (Nadiff Gallery, Tokyo), curated by Takashi Murakami. At present she lives and works in Kanagawa prefecture.
More recently, she was part of "Winter Garden: The Exploration of the Micropop Imagination in Contemporary Japanese Art" (2009, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, toured to overseas venues), curated by Matsui Midori. After appearing in "Pretty Baby" at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in 2007 and "MATRIX 213: Some Forgotten Place" at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive in 2004, her work was added to those museums' collections. Kudo's paintings have also been acquired by the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Olbricht Collection, the Japan Foundation, and the Takahashi Collection.