The hallmark of Bergamot-Station-based Richard Heller Gallery is that virtually every piece on exhibit is usually small, colorful, and highly graphic – and highly evocative.
And, the show currently on view until June 14, “Turning” by Hideaki Kawashima, is a good example. The 42 year-old Japanese artist’s work initially seems little more than yet another contribution to the growing roster of Manga (Japanese comic book) inspired artwork. But, on closer inspection, a strange soulfulness pervades each of his fantasy portraits. Through some mysterious artifice, Kawashima’s hand transforms the cloying puppy-dog eyes (that are normally the trademark feature of cutsy-girl Manga) into windows of the soul. Perhaps that is because most of his obsessively pumped-out pieces seems to be a feminized self-portrait (see below) – an odd little piece of himself.