Loren Philip and Tomoaki Shibata
November 9-27, 2018
Curated by: Peter Frank
Castelli Art Space
5428 W. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
by: Sandra Vista
Forest Bathing/ Shinrin Yoku
The twelve large scale collaborative paintings, on drop cloth, are installed to envelop and bathe the participants in a forest of barrier free sensations. Philip said that most of the paintings began with intersecting lines of black ink. The broad gestural movements defer to previous abstract expressionists like Franz Kline and Jackson Pollack and Automatists/Surrealists like Joan Miro and Max Ernst.
For the past two years Philip and Shibata have worked in Philip's studio between four and eight hour sessions. They riffed on each other's unconscious- dynamic marks until they felt each painting was complete. The cooperative paintings still allow for each artist's personal marks and palettes to be represented. Philip's signature, cobalt/ultramarine, lavish slathers float throughout the paintings. Shibata's delicate line drawings of caricature-like figures appear at varied scales. Notably, Shibata's marks are poetry and music that have been developing throughout his creative lifetime.
Forest bathing / Shinrin Yoku is a form of forest therapy medicine that allows for people to simply bask in the atmosphere of a forest. When I saw a photograph of myself at the exhibition, I recalled what it felt like to breathe the healing air with trees that have existed for many human lifetimes. The psychic emotional exchange that the artists shared during the development of each painting is a taste of this experience.