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Almine Rech

Hajime Sorayama

Jun 9 — Jul 29, 2023 | Paris, Matignon

Opening on June 9, from 6 to 8 pm

Almine Rech Matignon is pleased to present Hajime Sorayama's second solo exhibition with the gallery, on view from June 9 to July 29, 2023.

​In the word creature, there is create. Hajime Sorayama creates creatures, like a mischievous Pygmalion, chiseling muscles that shimmer under the skin, shaping pearlescent lips and necks, from which he extracts, with a touch of sensuality, his steel Galateas. For Hajime Sorayama's recent paintings take on a narrative dimension, taking inspiration from a collective memory haunted by androids and pin-ups, carnal and chrome-like sylphs. Once again, we see the obsessive theme of the female body, depicted like a leitmotiv that lends the work its cohesion through continuity.

​Born in 1947 in Japan, an independent illustrator from 1972, the artist soon elaborated a singular style, with cyber-erotic tones, which brought him worldwide fame in the 1980s. "I draw metals to depict a woman's softness [1]." This is what his painting voluptuously manipulates, this discordance between steel and skin, the sharp and the smooth, tekhne and erotica, calling on the viewer's culture and memory to bear witness as if against the grain. Hence, Marilyn with her flying skirt is a hackneyed image, but here, this retro-futuristic glamor, outside of post-humanist aesthetics, invites us to a parasensory gentleness, from an unknown time and place.

​All this has no limits other than those of a creative jubilation, a fully conscious hedonism, full of chimaeras, tall dolls, silky robots. Semantic dissonances that fuel fantasy: such is, it seems, the signature choice of the artist's highly personal realism, where the incandescence of a silvery Marilyn, of a likely absinth fairy, of a callipygous bather or a Barbarella in thigh-high metal boots is haloed in greens, turquoise, surreal purples, letting us know, like at the end of a somewhat cruel tale designed to conjure up desire and fear, that it's not true, it's “not for real”.  “They are full of lies [2]”, admits their master, Hajime Sorayama…

— Paloma Hermine Hidalgo

Press release

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