Paintings by Kei Masuda at Frank J Miele Gallery
NEW YORK CITY – In their quest for an American vernacular which allows them to identify with America, and thus be identified as American, many artists who have come from abroad have often turned to American folk art as a source and inspiration, according to Frank J Miele of Frank J Miele Gallery, 1086 Madison Avenue.
At the turn of the last century a number of artists who had immigrated to America from abroad – Yasuo Kunihoshi, Robert Laurent, Elie Nadelman, among many others – drew inspiration from American folk art of the Nineteenth Century. Now at the start of a new century, Kei Masuda has done the same, drawing his inspiration from American folk art of the Twentieth Century. His paintings will be on display at Miele through March 25.
In Japan, Masuda worked as an advertising illustrator for such companies as Panasonic, Tokyo Dome, ANA Cargo and Nippon Phonogram. He was sent on assignment to the United States in 1993, and decided to stay.
Masuda settled in Boston, where he did work as a freelance illustrator. He gained considerable recognition, as a result of which he was selected by the American Olympic Committee to create the official poster for the Nagano Olympic Winter Games. While in New England, he also acquired a love for American folk art, and more and more he found that his own work was informed by the rich traditions of folk art that abound in New England. One of his folk paintings, in fact, was selected by Unicef for a Christmas card. Kei Masuda now lives in New York City.
Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 10 am to 6 pm; Saturday 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday noon to 5 pm. For information, 212/249-7250.