Miki Saito is a Japanese artist based in Los Angeles. Saito works in various disciplines but always returns to painting. In her painted work, she is remarkable at being able to obscure and camouflage her subjects, who are often times animals.
Saito’s paintings use watercolor and ink to create a swirling, color pooling effect. Her works are minimalistic and abstract, punctuated with subjects poking their heads out from behind little smoke masses. She concentrates these works on animals, often birds, tucking them into these abstract pools and often tying their bodies to these abstractions. The animal subjects are quite cute and are always very detailed despite flowing in and out of these grey bubbles.
Her work also has an incredible layering element. Shuffling through the photos of her work over and over again, you notice more items. For example, it took seeing her piece Gonyo-Gonyo (at bottom) ten times to realize that there is more than one animal element in the piece. Do you see them? A few of them have this quality, other animals and other objects peeking out from inside of abstract moments without you even noticing.
Miki is one of the many talented artists coming out of Pasadena’s Art Center. She also has some great sculptural and installation work, including Tree Room, a clever and simple celebration of nature. For more on Miki, check out her website.