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Indepth Arts News:

"Koji Takei: Staying Afloat"
2003-03-22 until 2003-04-19
Bergamot Station Art Center, Robert Berman Gallery, D5 Projects
Santa Monica, CA, USA United States of America

In talking about the early stages of his career as a fine artist, Takei claims that he immediately saw that the challenge in making this type of work: there was no problem to solve, no parameters to work within and not much in the way of deadlines to meet. As it turns out, there are an infinite number of problems to solve, from the smallest and most mundane to macrocosmic problems of global proportion.

In a very real sense, it has always been the artist's role in society to attempt to solve or alleviate these problems and historically, the greatest ideas often come out of the more mysterious recesses, the place where there are the most questions, the most pain and the greatest discontent. Takei?s new body of work is no exception to this historical pattern.

The works offered in this exhibition stay true to Takei's spontaneous yet thoughtful aesthetic. Dissecting, dismembering and re-arranging the objects of everyday life {guitars are a favorite as are ladders and tools}, and toppling the universal associations that we have with these items, Takei's latest works retain the wry sensibility that we've previously experienced. Whereas his previous pieces were a reflection of a contented life (style), works such as "Staying Afloat" echo a new place in life, one that is not quite as comfortable and accommodating. Furthermore, the ideas contained within these works parallel the predicament in which so many individuals find themselves of late.

The works offered in "Staying Afloat" are telling. It is apparent that the artist is taking everything in stride and maintains his sense of humor. Takei resonantly confesses that in expressing the more personal struggles through his art, ?I find I am not the only one dealing with these issues in life. I am now doing the same thing most of us are; just trying to stay afloat.?

Koji Takei has worked as a fine artist, photographer and graphic designer in Los Angeles for over 25 years. This is his second solo exhibition at the Robert Berman Gallery.

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