Contemporary Japanese Artist and Utrillo: Fresh Eyes of Notre-Dame de Clignantcourt
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Notre-Dame de Clignantcourt in the life of Maurice Utrillo (1883-1955) wasn’t a particular historical and famous Christian church in Paris. However, this Catholic place of worship certainly hit a right chord with Utrillo because he painted this scene, from different angles and seasons, on a few occasions (Utrillo below). Therefore, the contemporary Japanese artist Sawako Utsumi focuses on this delightful church but based on a completely different season from the painting by Utrillo that she is paying homage to.
In the passing of time, the spirituality of Christianity would impact on Utrillo (original by Utrillo above) despite his far from traditional upbringing. Indeed, if you apply a fanciful imagination, then it could be said that the changing reality of Notre-Dame de Clignantcourt, within the mindset of Utrillo, is based on the strong connection with his mother and birthright.
Also, familiarity and the power of the Christian faith would bestow a semblance of normality for Utrillo. This is a far cry from his teenage years and the reality of his mother that inflamed contradictory forces within his soul.
In a past article, I stress “Throughout the life of Utrillo mental asylums became a reality because often he was interned into these institutions. Despite this, Utrillo produced an abundance of stunning art pieces. Indeed, he was rightly awarded the Cross of the Legion d’honneur by the government of France in 1928. Also, by the middle of the 1930s, Utrillo became increasingly religious.”
Utsumi impressively creates a completely different seasonal backdrop to the original by Utrillo. On top of this, the adorable artist who hails from Sendai, Japan, focuses strongly on the central spiritual reality that shaped Utrillo during his lifetime. This reality is based on the union of the Christian church and people walking around is based on a natural reality. In essence, a tinge of Shintoism is being modestly impinged based on the natural order appearing at ease within a modern city.
Utsumi says, “People are walking in various directions but the church remains the embodiment based on spiritual strength and open to all who seek sanctuary.”
This Christian sanctuary would steady the Utrillo ship. Similarly, for Utsumi, art and spirituality are areas that provide sanctuary to her in a world that is chaotic. Therefore, the rich color scheme by Utsumi is based on powerful rays of hope that are needed in this life. At the same time, a sense of belonging and communion with the spirit of Utrillo is obtainable based on different reflections.
BELOW IS A NEW BOOK BASED ON THE ART OF SAWAKO UTSUMI
Book Review: Sawako Utsumi and her Kindred Spirit
European and Japanese Art: Buddhism, Christianity, Landscapes, Rinpa, Shintoism, Ukiyo-e, and Dutch Masters
http://www.lulu.com/shop/lee-jay-walker/sawako-utsumi-and-her-kindred-spirit/paperback/product-22830732.html – Please click on to order the book.
http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sawako-utsumi.html – Art of Sawako Utsumi and where you can buy her art, postcards, bags, and other products. Also, individuals can contact her for individual requests.
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