Lot 619
  • 619

Saito Makoto

1,400,000 - 2,000,000 HKD
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  • Saito Makoto
  • Snow B.B. (No. 20130301)
  • oil on canvas
signed in Japanese and dated 2013 on the reverse, signed and dated on a label affixed to the reverse


Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner

This work is requested to be exhibited at the Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art in 2019 for the solo exhibition of the artist

Catalogue Note

And God Created Brigitte

Snow B.B. (No. 20130301) (Lot 619) reincarnates the ravishing allure of French actress Brigitte Bardot with a transfixing post-contemporary aesthetic—one that glistens with the traditional medium of oil whilst buzzing with intricate, meticulous computer-superimposed pigments and layers. Saito Makoto's globally acclaimed practice, celebrated especially for his idiosyncratic portraits of legendary cinéastes such as Michelangelo Antonioni, Stanley Kubrick and Jean-Luc Godard, stems from a profound appreciation for the human face—in particular, how "the slightest nuances of facial expression can go so deep",1 in the artist's own words—as well as the erotic appeal of the human body. By combining technology with the rustic beauty of the age-old painting process, Saito's minutely detailed paintings pulsate with deep emotional resonance, constituting a revolutionary antithesis of the computer as medium.

The central role of memory stands as further testament to Saito's antithetic practice. As critic Asada Akira writes, Saito re-creates "the way images burned into our retinae undergo monstrous changes within the shifting currents of unconscious memory".2 As a young boy Saito was taken to see French films with subtitles he did not understand and dreamed up his own stories; as an artist, Saito summons scenes from film classics from the depths of his memory and morphs them with a contemporary touch. The resulting images, whether meticulously layered, blurred or masterfully distorted, radiate a mysterious illusory aura: albeit jarringly obscured by snowballs, Bardot's pout remains as intimately seductive as ever, six decades after the French actress became an overnight sex symbol in the 1956 French film And God Created Woman.

[1] Saito Makoto, "SCENE [0]: Interview with Makoto Saito", in MAKOTO SAITO: SCENE [0], 21ST Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan, 2008, p. 115

[2] Asada Akira, "The Birth of Painting from the Ruins of Graphic Design", refer to 1, pp. 6-7

Artist Biography

Saito Makoto (b. 1952, Japan) is an award-winning painter as well as internationally eminent graphic designer. As a painter Saito exhibited at numerous contemporary art exhibitions in Japan in the 1970s onwards, winning awards on multiple occasions; while his graphic works have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In 2006 Saito confirmed a major solo exhibition at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa entitled "Makoto Saito: Scene [0]" which was held in 2008; since then the artist ceased his graphic design practice completely. In recent years Saito's has held the solo exhibitions "Fascinated Times" (2014) and "Like Nectar Attracting Bees" (2011) at Tomio Koyama Gallery and "Face to Face/Composition" (2012) at Paul Kasmin Gallery. Saito is scheduled to hold a solo exhibition titled "CHAOS- Saito Makoto" at the Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art, Japan in 2019.