Pipe Paintings

Pipe Paintings
Piggyback by Keiko Kitahara on OpenSea marketplace

The two largest artworks in Keiko Kitahara's 'Stir Gallery' in OnCyber are named Cavel and Cavel II. They are flanked on each side by single worded art such as Lier, Ant Lion and Training on the left and Mixture, Pollution and August on the right.

Stir Gallery by Keiko Kitahara 

Keiko Kitahara
Member of HAKABOCHI. HAKABOCHI is an art production team based in Tokyo. My works are minted at my own contracts.

You may be familiar with the name HAKABOCHI already from the recent artist feature Haru Komoda. They're both exploring NFTs together and fortunately decided to share their art in a gallery setting to fully experience. Up close you can see the shapes created act like their own leadlight windows, absent of brushstrokes. Each artwork is a pipe painting...where the pipe is the instrument that carves each coloured edge.

Cavel was minted on May 16th 2021 on Foundation and promptly scoooped up by art collector @krybharat.

Cavel by Keiko Kitahara on Foundation marketplace

Cavel II came to life just over a month later on June 20th, this time minted on OpenSea. The layering and smudging of paint layers in the first Cavel have given way to a cleaner palette. The shapenly stick figure presence is now more vivid.  

Cavel II by Keiko Kitahara on OpenSea marketplace
"This work is painted with acrylic paints on canvas. It was created with a pipe without using a brush. After that, I edited it digitally." says Keiko.

Keiko's most recent work 'Pathfinder' is available to enjoy on the Async marketplace, minted on 15th November 2021. This feels like a close up study progressing from what we have seen so far....with one difference.

Pathfinder by Keiko Kitahara on Async marketplace

The artwork changes every 60 minutes because that's what minting on your own smart contract enables. Yep. Every hour a new scene is shown by the Pathfinder according to Keiko (read more on Twitter). Imagine the artwork in a public space...and it's lunchtime... you begin to recognise the time in your lounge...from the Pathfinder artwork that lives and breathes with you.

"walk, meet, intersect, find, diverge, walk, meet, intersect, find, diverge, walk… Before you know it, a big road will be built and it will become a guidepost." says Keiko.

As with many artists, it can pay for collectors to explore beyond OpenSea to discover works that are open to offers. While these are artworks have already sold, there is the possibility of making an offer to the current collector.

Keiko Kitahara's Stick Paintings on makersplace marketplace

Keiko's arrangements of the daubs of color is the talent here. The stick man simply holds each scene together. Without the stick man... we get to see each single cellular paint element on its own. Let's take three...

Entrance - brings wraps a green entrance over a distance bright sun. Does the word describe the art... or does the art describe the image? Which comes first?

Clown - a clown tends to have strike lines through their eyes. Is this the abstraction of a clowns eyes we're seeing?

August - is this the shape of an A for August... or is it the colour of a southern hemisphere winter...or something else?

The beauty of abstraction is it leaves much to the viewer to decide. It let's us fill in the story with our own memories and thoughts. Kandinsky, Mondrian and Rothko all explored colour in ways previously unimagined. There is something longer lasting in creativity expressed with simplicity.

Ok so now that we're getting to maybe understanding a little more about Keiko's work, what more should we know? Let's finish with what our frens on Twitter have been saying  about Keiko's art.


Is there more to be seen in art that on first glance may not be as easily understood as 3D glasses atop an ape or a beanie placed with pixelation on a punk? I think so. Art has always rewarded the artists who arrived with their own vision and style.

We may be a collective community establishing our own norms... but we rely on the freshness of approach from artists such as Keiko to keep reminding us that the path is only just emerging for us all.

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