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Painting of woman in black sun hat on a bridge by Hiroshi Sato

Hiroshi Sato, A Future Icon of Japanese Painting?


At the tender age of 27, the brilliance of this Japanese artist looks set to transcend.

It is highly likely that in the immediate future Hiroshi Sato will become one of Japan’s most widely acclaimed painters. Born in Japan in 1987, Sato reaches the age of 27 with a complete domination of the technique of painting, and thanks to which he has been able to dialectically synthesize some of the most eloquent artistic traditions.

Critics agree that in his works it is possible to see the influence of the so-called ‘old masters’ of European painting, especially Vermeer, as well as contemporary US artists such as Andrew Wyeth and Chuck Close and Britain’s Euan Uglow. Sato spent the early years of his life in Tanzania, until the age of 14, when he moved to Rome, a city in which it is almost impossible to avoid the influence of art. There, Sato came face to face with his future vocation, inspired by his daily encounters with the classical sculptures and that made him decide on an artistic career. His next step was enrolling in the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where he specialized in realist contemporary painting in oils.

Another of Sato’s distinctive traits is his tendency toward implied geometry in his paintings. A question that the classics asked themselves but which in this young Japanese painter takes on a different shade, the playful possibility of experimenting with “the simultaneous illusion of the form and the foreground in space.”

Right now the big question is: Are we facing the next great Japanese contemporary visual arts icon, or is Sato just a flash in the pan?

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