Yeelen Gallery is proud to present “Love, Strength, and Soul,” a series of works by Brooklyn-based portrait artist, Tim Okamura, on view through Art Basel Miami Beach week from November 22 to January 10, 2015. Known for his hyper-realistic, large-scale portraits of African-American women, this exhibition will feature both as-yet-unseen new pieces alongside more familiar works, functioning as an introductory whirlwind to Okamura’s oeuvre.
Employing a traditional painting style interwoven with contemporary elements, Okamura pays homage to graffiti, components of his Brooklyn community, and the subjects’ psychology. While each portrait is uniquely individual, they speak to the humanity within the subject and the viewer. Speaking to his depiction of humanity, Okamura explains, “the connection I feel with people, the ability to tap into a sense of empathy is, I think, the trait that has guided the work more than anything else.” The new works in “Love, Strength, and Soul” will maintain this spirit, but mark a new, even more dynamic approach to portraiture for Okamura.
Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, in 1968, Okamura earned a B.F.A. with Distinction at the Alberta College of Art and design in Calgary, Canada, before receiving an M.F.A. in Illustration as Visual Journalism from the School of Visual Arts in 1993. He has had his work featured in P.S. 1, the BP Portrait Awards Exhibition at London’s National Portrait Gallery, Koki Arts in Tokyo, Japan, and multifarious spaces worldwide. He received a Fellowship in Painting from the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2004, and his work can be found in the private collections of Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Bryan Greenberg, and Uma Thurman.
“Love, Strength, and Soul” will mark the one-year anniversary of Yeelen Gallery, an expansive, 10,000+ square-foot space located in Miami’s storied Little Haiti neighborhood.