The use of the past tense in the title of this collection by Japanese artist Hiro Kurata suggests we are going to see something critically wrong in his examination of Western culture and celebrity, and indeed we do.
Using a very modern form of portraiture and still life, although maintaining a classical feel, Kurata focuses on his pseudo-heroic central “baseball sluggers” characters with a grim sense of irony. Sometimes gladiatorial, as on the field of play, sometimes materialistic and money obsessed, isolated by earphones, always with a face like a full English breakfast that’s been smacked with a spade; his characters aren’t sympathetic, and neither – we can infer – is Kurata. Even the still life elements of his compositions, the plants, look like they are about to extend a triffid-like tendril and strangle someone.
Take a swing at your own interpretations at Ivory and Black‘s Berwick Street studio, London, until 9th December.