Artist Focus: Tomoo Gokita

We’ve long been fans of Tomoo Gokita. The Japanese artist gained something of a cult following after he published Lingerie Wrestling in 2000. This was the world outside Japan’s real intro to Gokita’s surreal, monochrome style – an aesthetic that stays with the viewer long after viewing. Following the artist’s solo show at New York’s Mary Boone Gallery earlier this year, the Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum is set to open a mid-career retrospective of Gokita’s largely figurative work this August. The Great Circus finds a handful of new paintings, each of which was completed without any prior drafting in an exercise of form by chance. A common reference is Gokita’s interest in African masks and masked wrestlers – a theme that perhaps holds sinister undertones, as it hints at hiding one’s real face.