What is my artwork about?
I paint as though I’m cooking or driving. I map out a bunch of directions and make different types of color-coded drawings that plan and predict what the thing might look like, all the while anticipating the final outcome. Sometimes my paintings are maps for drawings, comics and prints. At times, I plan and plan and plan, and then break the rules. My work often looks like pieces of drawings and prints taped together, weaved with paint. I imagine my drawings in series of dimensional spaces. I think about how things in color and black-and-white relate.
When I make things, I love making versions of peripheral drawings that plan out all the juicy details about its structure and materials. I really like to get up in there, measure to death, re-measure and color-code like crazy. I’m a true mapper. I plan what I can out and like to keep moving as if I’m cooking or driving. I love to play with paint, its consistency, transparency, smoothness and tactility. One thing I can’t get enough of about printmaking is the secondary stuff. The linocut block, un-inked with its cut lines and curvy crevices, that make out subtle images and words, backwards. It’s rubbery-ness and unimportant attitude. The way it loves to kiss and kiss paper in a very certain way. It gives and asks for little in return. My favorite has to be the litho stone. I can spend forever prepping a limestone. Three nuanced levels of grinding carborundum with a levigator. The way the grit spreads like watercolor, and washes off like a beach under sunlight coming from the window. That thick leather flag-fan, sometimes replaced with used and cut-up litho plates, with its clunky wooden tennis racket handle. Then filing the edges of the stone, fine-tuning with levels of files, and burnishing to an obsessive polish with a brand new blade, until it starts to sheen.
I love to make paint flawless and smooth like plastic, gritty like salt, uneven light a lit cave. I live to apply thin layers of transparencies like sheets of colored acetate that let me make more colors with less. There’s nothing more compelling than a color so vibrant, one thin even layer over white shines brighter than two or three. Sometimes I wonder what color is at all. I see all these new images coming from Mars on the internet, and a majority of them are in black and white. The color images, even when they seem real, beg the question of distance and mechanical filters. At the end of the day, there’s no one there to actually see it. I’ve made drawings or comic strips that I know will be viewed in both color and black-and-white. For instance, the strip I made (06_XOExo_2014_ink_paper.jpg) for the Brooklyn Rail was black-and-white in print and color online. The site-specific installation I recently made (01_XOExo_2015.site_installation.jpg) at the ICA Boston went a step further. I wanted something that did what my strip did, but in dimensional space. What if color is just an illusion? What if the color system on Earth is specific to Earth? There must be so many colors we’ve never seen or known before. I’ve included a few examples of older work from 2005 through 2007,
(19_untitled_2007_site_installation.jpg)(20_Green_Thing_2005_Akir a_Kira_2006_acrylic_wood_fabric_metal.jpg). These works are a few samples of past experiments with comics and the book form, in dimensional space. I see the activation of the wall and floor, or the wall and ceiling as gestures that resonate with open books.
Web“Q&A with Artist Sakura Maku: From Freddy Kreuger to Garfield.” (blog). September 6, 2013.http://blog.sva.edu/2013/09/qa-with-artist-sakura-maku-from-freddy-kreuger-to-garfield/Clough, Robert, “Top Fifteen Comic Books of 2011.” (blog). February 13, 2012.http://highlowcomics.blogspot.com/2012/01/top-fifteen-comic-books-of-2011.htmlPusack, Elizabeth. “Q and A: Sakura Maku.” (blog). September 6, 2012.http://www.tinhouse.com/blog/16946/q-and-a-sakura-maku.htmlAnderson, Maria. “Preview: Goodbye Space Shuttle @ Curbs and Stoops Active Space.” White HotMagazine, July 2011. http://whitehotmagazine.com/articles/shuttle-curbs-stoops-active-space/2337English, Austin. “20 Questions with Sakura Maku.” Domino Books. April 14, 2011.http://dominobooksnews.com/2011/04/14/20-quesitons-with-sakura-maku/Clough, Robert. “Memory and Form: Windy Corner Magazine #3.” (blog). August 27, 2009.http://highlowcomics.blogspot.com/2009/08/memory-and-form-windy-corner-magazine-3.html