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fa.fn66 (Visitation), 2023, 122 x 122 cm, mixed media, oil and acrylic paint on wood panel

Upon The End of Play and Infancy

Born in the US with British roots, Karim B Hamid is an authentic figurative painter who combines tradition and innovation, reminiscent of Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud. In Asia, where works in the vein of illustration are gaining popularity, his solo exhibition will mark a turning point in the future of art.


We are pleased to present Karim B Hamid's first solo exhibition in Japan, entitled ‘Upon The End of Play and Infancy’, at MEGUMI OGITA GALLERY. Born in Los Angeles, California, in 1966, Hamid studied at the Royal Academy of Arts in the UK, then received his MFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 1994, and now lives and works in Colorado. He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in the US and Europe, and his paintings are held in private collections around the world.


The constant idealisation and consumption of the female form, from classical art to contemporary pop culture, has been a consistent theme in Hamid's work. In response to the extremely superficial representation of women in history and the media, he draws on a variety of sources to focus on what the male gaze means via distorted and exaggerated images of women. It is his reflection on the art of not only what is seen, but how it is seen. The work is poetic interpretation of the intimacy, romanticism and human elements that once existed, and he uses the fluidity of painting medium to emphasise this. The seemingly inefficient process of deconstruction and construction, painting and erasing repeatedly, gives his work a sense of ‘time and space’, which is rare in today's hectic world, and leaves room for interpretation.


Hamid calls his work 'psychic archaeology' and cites three artists from different fields as his inspiration. In contrast to the artistic currents that favoured intelligence and technique, figurative painter Francis Bacon (1909-1992) offered a completely new visual value with his immediate, intuitive and physical expression. Film director Andrei Tarkovsky (1932-1986) bent time, images and sound to create strange and insightful scenes. In his paintings, Hamid also bent, distorted and stretched specific time to extract a ‘psychic’ moment in between what we can perceive. In many of his early concertos, composer Alfred Schnittke (1934-1998) developed the sound that was intense and abrupt, but also fused with more familiar classical music forms. These discoveries from his early time as an art student led Hamid to pursue his own method of introducing something new and yet separate into his work alongside the tradition.


In this exhibition, 11 new paintings, which strike the great balance between radical and sacred, rough and delicate, will be on display. We hope you enjoy Hamid's work that captures an element of the person or thing being observed, with a depth of detail not ordinarily interpreted by the conditioned eye.


May 19-June 10, 2023

Noon-6 PM 

Closed on Sunday, Monday and Public holiday


2-16-12 B1 Ginza Chuo-ku Tokyo 104-0061 Japan

*You may be asked to wait for admission when the gallery is crowded in order to prevent infection with COVID-19.

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