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Jaye Early Masato_Takasaka

synthetic polymer paint and permanent marker on canvas

137 x 137 cm

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.

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