John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.
If Magneto decided to attend art school, here's what he might produce: Huge levitating balls of rusty trash and city infrastructure.
If Magneto had a less villainous bent and decided to go to art school, here's what he might produce: Huge spheres of urban detritus ripped from junkyards and apartment towers, floating above the ground like hot-air balloons made of rusted metal, household appliances, and effervescing TV screens.
While the public may never see such a spectacle barring a weird indie remake of the X-Men movies, it's all right there on canvas thanks to Masakatsu Sashie, a painter from Kanazawa, Japan, who delights in crossing the surreal with ruined industrial landscapes. Masakatsu's latest show opened this weekend at New York City's Jonathan LeVine Gallery; it's titled "Coacervate," which the dictionary calls an "aggregate of colloidal droplets held together by electrostatic attractive forces." But in the artist's vision more closely resembles a katamari drop-kicked into space.
Sashie holds a great appreciation for manmade objects. Finding beauty in the design of machines and products, even when discarded as waste, he sees them as an extension of mankind and the natural world rather than simply artificial. In the artist’s words: “Although coacervates exist on a microscopic level, the function of assimilating surrounding matter extends into our world as well as the universe beyond. Selectively absorbing and processing our environment, whether conscious or subliminal, is part of our evolution and results in the composition of who we are, the world we live in, the systems we create and values that are prized.”
The show is on exhibit until November 16 – here's a selection of some of the oddness in it:
Images courtesy of Jonathan LeVine Gallery