The winner of the competition “Art with Words” is Japanese artist Takahashi Tahara.
Tahara’s concept revolves around modern-day life. Since the internet has positioned itself at the core of our existence, he suggests that our lives have become more convenient and richer with information. However, the flip side is that it may be causing our emotional and creative capabilities to be eroded at the same time.
Personally, he does not believe that mankind has a rosy future but instead we are walking a path of decay. He wants to suggest to the viewer that the evolution of civilization is hastening the decline of humanity. Tahara however tries to interpret this with humor and irony.
Tahara incorporates line drawings into his paintings which evokes Saul Steinberg, the renowned artist who often graced the cover of the New Yorker Magazine with his illustrative humor depicting a prior, more analog, society.
Inspiration however comes from legendary, classical pianist, Martha Argerich, known for her dynamic and emotionally rich, musicality. He explains that music cannot be expressed figuratively but can be richly expressed abstractly. That impact can be seen in his abstract geometric work “The Recession”. It is a subject that he is well qualified to explain as an Economics major and living through the lengthy economic depression that has plagued Japan on and off since the 1990s.
Ed and Jeannie McCormack felt the positioning of the word Recession strongly in the piece validated the concept of the competition, “Art with Words”, with the swirling magnetic lines symbolizing the chaos of a recession. The humor in the characters however balances the somber subject. Ed McCormack applauds the risk of working in illustration and drawing, an oft undervalued art style.
Tahara is also inspired by the words of Paul Klee “Art does not reproduce what is visible, it makes things visible.” A worthy goal.
The Runners up:
Thank-you to all those who submitted their art for the competition.