Watercolor works by Rob Sato
Rob Sato is a masterful creator of worlds. Emerging from the artist’s own experiences and memories, from his interest in historical events and tireless imagination fueled over the years by literature, comics or film, the whimsical universes depicted in watercolor on paper and sculptural form unfold emotional landscapes where people of extraordinary diversity come together marching towards the same destination, travelling through alternating passages of time to reach a new home. The past, present and future gently fuse in a touching return to nature and life in community.
The causes and circumstances of their journey are uncertain, yet their unity and determination to succeed seem unshakable. Holding flags not as a symbol of division but as a sign of preserved culture and embraced differences, all these human, ancient, animal, alien or robot-like creatures confront the hardships, the obstacles and fears as one, and their joy will also be collective once they arrive to a safe shelter. Quietly waiting in a line sometimes stretching to infinity, their hopes and dreams grow with each step further in a powerful representation of solid connection. Still, in works such as Walkers III it is unclear if the line turns stronger – tiny figures joining the crowd – or weakens under the pressures of their (forced or desired) migration. Similarly, one may find the Watchers in the Woods, with its ironic title, feeling rather estranged than united with their eyes intentionally blinded by scarfs – and the viewer is left to guess why and what it is that they do not wish to see.
Choosing watercolor despite its limitations becomes liberating for the artist who skillfully manages to bring order and equilibrium in “the fluid chaos of the medium”. The work of Rob Sato is evocative, haunting and raises profound questions about who we are as individuals and who we can be together.
Nest II, watercolor on paper
Seance II: Jericho Rebuilt, watercolor and paper sculpture, 84″ x 30.5″ x 30″, 2014
Seance I: Watchers in the Woods, watercolor on paper sculpture, inside detail, 2014
Strange Land, watercolor on paper, 2013
Shelter II, watercolor on paper, 16″ x 16″, 2013
Walkers III, watercolor on paper, 14.5″ x 53″, 2013
Images © Rob Sato