Tim Okamura (born 1968 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) is a contemporary
Canadian painter known for his depiction of African-American and minority subjects in urban settings, and his combination of graffiti and realism.
Urban life and hip-hop has influenced not only Okamura’s subject matter in his paintings, but some of its musical concepts –sampling, combining new beats and classic grooves- also affected his approach to image-making: sampling excerpts from art history and world mythology, blending classical techniques of oil painting with the spontaneity of spray painted graffiti, combining the academic “realism” of his portrait and figure painting with modern graphics and contemporary urban environments. “I continue to be inspired simultaneously by the disparate visual language of Rembrandt’s dark portraits, the intense contemplation of Antonio Lopez Garcia, and “wild-style” graffiti writers”. “…a painter who does portraits with tumultuous graffiti backgrounds….a hip-hop painter”.
Tim Okamura investigates identity, the urban environment, metaphor, and cultural iconography through a unique method of painting – one that combines an essentially ‘realist’ approach to the figure with collage, spray paint and mixed media. The juxtaposition of the rawness and urgency of street art and academic ideals has created a visual language that acknowledges a traditional form of story-telling through portraiture, while infusing the work with resonant contemporary motifs.
Via : http://timokamura.com/