Frank Satogata

4 White Peonies 20X30 Print on Aluminum.jpg
4 White Peonies 20X30 Print on Aluminum.jpg

Frank Satogata


White Peonies

Print on Aluminum

20 x 30 inches

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Artist Statement


Since the turn of the 20th century, when painters moved away from meticulous depiction of reality, there has been a transition to a personal application of the medium as an identifying marker to create an artists identity. From Sargent, to Monet, to Matisse, to DeKooning, we have learned to recognize an artist’s work by the set of marks they apply to the canvas.

In the East, the importance of a personal mark has been known since the 8th Century when calligraphy was accepted as a form of art. Contemporary calligraphers like Shibayama and Fukushima have continued the work of ancient masters such as Hakuin and Sengai.

My personal search has focused on understanding the relationship between Japanese Calligraphy and Abstract Expressionism. Spontaneity of Brush Strokes and Evidence of Process are an important part of both and an essential part of my work. Being of Japanese ancestry and raised in a Western culture, I am constantly searching for ways to integrate the best of both into my identity as a painter.

I have always felt that the true nature of my painting lies in the way I use my tools and medium to create Marks on a Surface. Whether through an additive process (laying paint on a surface) or a subtractive process (scarping the paint off the surface), the tools used and the marks I create have become a part of my identity.

Although, some of the strokes and drippings may seen arbitrary, the painting itself is created in layers with each stroke being a reaction to the one that came before it. I refer to this as Controlled Spontaneity. I apply the medium in different densities of opaque and transparent layers, allowing some of the layers below to show through, giving the viewer a glimpse into my Painting Process. The juxtaposition of colors (light vs. dark, analogous vs. contrasting, saturated vs. unsaturated, transparent vs. opaque) are what give my painting its vibrancy.

I continue to embrace the in uences of the East and West, as I continue working in both the representational and abstract realms. My Personal Calligraphy and Color Sensitivity being the common thread that link them together.