Everybody Loves You

By MASANOBU ISHII ~ Saison Art Program, Sezon Museum of Modern Art


In a city, thousands of strangers exist and have a community life together. So many different languages fly around mixed with an uproar of a big urban complex called New York City where an artist spent about 10 years of his life.  How many years did it take for the Japanese artist to feel the reality of the words “I love you”?

Daisuke Takeya is a painter who continues to create realistic oil paintings using portraits and urban scenes as a motif. This exhibition, which is titled “EVERYBODY LOVES YOU”, consists monitor and sounds. As it is seen by “MIKI LOVES YOU”, not only does none of those portrait oil paintings have a smile, but also they give emptiness and anxiety. The art works; mixture between faces and landscapes arouse the relationship between the models and the cities. Each of over 100 men and women of different races keep saying “I LOVE YOU” one after another from the liquid screen monitor. As it repeats os many times, the initial feeling of the language is starting to fade and gradually the essential meaning of the words become paralyzed. Personal backgrounds of those men and women are removed and they appear like symbols, which express minimal images of art. Also, those eyes of the characters that say “I LOVE YOU” are not looking at the visitor, but each gaze should be pointed at the subject of the declaration who is absent. Therefore, although this image is a form of communication of confession, it has a contradiction, that is to let the characters recognize that this communication is directed toward the subject who is absent. The expanded image of the Manhattan sky, which is also made by the oil painting, is reflected against the opposite side of the wall by projector. In the meantime, the melancholic tone of Yuki Nakano on the saxophone is remaining to be carried out into the exhibition room.

These realistic oil paintings and video images adopt the same composition and motif. By using both techniques at the same time, tit leads the visitor to be interested in the images floating between the “paintings” and the “picture images”. Then the method of placing the “sceneries” an the “faces” in parallel with each other functions as equipment ot consume the accumulated images ad memories by gathering the individual experiences of the relationship between “society” and the “person”. In here, the city is made as a subject being observed. By separating the observers and the ones being observed, which means by separating and visualizing Manhattan where those characters exist independently and objectively, it suggests the problems concerning communication absence, society, races and sex, etc. of the modern society. It does not describe the mental images of the artist nor the internal minds of the models, but it invites the visitor to reconsider the relationship between society and the individual.

The meaning of “I LOVE YOU” differs depending on the country, time and situation. As Takeya mentions, certainly, the meaning of “LOVE” in the contemporary period seems to lose its power compared to what it was in the 70’s. This “EVERYBODY LOVES YOU” project is still in progress.