Keita Morimoto is best known for his cityscapes and portraits painted with a mastery of light that is reminiscent of Rembrandt and Edward Hopper. He brings classical techniques into the present and transforms mundane streets into extraordinary worlds. Through his practice, Morimoto questions the structural fragility and moral codes of contemporary life by focusing his attention on everyday subjects such as vending machines, fast food restaurants and parking lots. His use of the historically symbolic motif of light combines its natural and sacred connotations with products of consumerist and industrial culture. Anonymous figures are inserted into ordinary scenes and depicted with controlled, theatrical light.
Morimoto highlights the anonymous spaces of our daily lives, and with his dramatic contrast of darkness and light, suggests a "heterotopia", a place to temporarily escape from the real world. These reimagined places of reflection and magic seem familiar but could be anywhere.
Keita Morimoto was born in Osaka, Japan in 1990. He moved to Canada when he was 16 and graduated from the Ontario College of Art + Design in 2012. He currently lives in Tokyo and is represented by Kotaro Nukaga Gallery there. He has exhibited in Canada, Tokyo and the United States. Exhibitions include the Museum of Contemporary Art, Canada in 2014 and the Art Gallery of Peterborough in 2018. His work will be included in a group exhibition at the Powerlong Museum in Shanghai in the fall of 2022.