Masato Takasaka is an artist and academic living in Melbourne.
‘We worked together when I used to teach in the Critical and Theoretical Studies Department at the Victorian College of the Arts,’ says Jaye Early.
‘The decision to paint Masato was, initially, quite instinctive; I just knew he would make a great subject. Masato is a kind person with a tender disposition. I enjoy his intelligent sense of the absurd, along with his playful, distinctive sarcasm. After he agreed to sit for me, I knew I wanted to highlight these qualities.
‘Generally, within my painting practice, I like to work in an extemporaneous manner without a lot of planning, so I didn’t want to overthink it. The use of flat, high-key colours was a visual device to frame Masato’s facial expression. This, I feel, is where his complex character can be viewed and understood. The red arrow is a reference to Francis Bacon and a framing device to draw added focus to Masato’s gaze.’
Early’s portrait of Takasaka was also a finalist in the 2020 Lester Prize for portraiture at the Art Gallery of Western Australia.