The wide-ranging cultural references and variety of media used by Japanese artist Teppei Kaneuji reflect the overconsumption of contemporary life, mixing styles and materials to create works that walk the line between the tantalizing and the grotesque. Humor is a common element in Kaneuji’s work, particularly on display in his White Oil Painting series, where any white object is thickly painted onto a white surface, barely standing out from the background. Using an arbitrary choice, like color in this instance, to group different subjects is a common tool used by the artist. “When you examine the world through this model,” says Kaneuji, “the meanings of context, purpose, value, and objects change. Things that were never supposed to meet, meet, and in the course of those processes new forms are born.” Here, Casper the cartoon ghost popularized in 1950s comics smirks beside a roll of toilet paper (a common subject in the series), both equally visible only due to the impasto paint. In an earlier body of work White Discharge, Kaneuji also used white in the form of a gloopy resin to semi-cover mounds of toys and plastic objects, unifying and muting the candy-colored objects meant to draw in the consumer. Kaneuji has been widely exhibited in Japan and more recently the US.
WHITE OIL PAINTING (TOILET PAPER ROLL AND CASPER)
oil on paper
11 3/4 x 11 1/4 inches