Such a statement injects heightened introspective meaning to Nara's oeuvre while also engaging with memory and nostalgia. Critic Matsui Midori writes that the magic of Nara lies in his ability to retrieve "a child's imagination and sense of the body",3 a feat which enables his work to immediately awaken viewers' nostalgia for their childhood. Donning a striking red dress, S-Girl glares at us, defiant yet adorable, her tiny hands balled up in fists of fury: a self-portrait of the artist, a mediator to summon up his true self, as well as a portrait of all of us in purer, more vulnerable, days.
1 The artist quoted in exh. cat. Nara Yoshitomo: a bit like you and me..., Japan, 2012, p. 13
2 Refer to 1, p. 129
3 Matsui Midori, "A Gaze from Outside: Merits of the Minor in Yoshitomo Nara's Painting", in exh. cat. I Don't Mind, if You Forget Me, Kyoto, 2001, p. 170
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