Born in 1967 in Okinawa, Japan and currently based in Los Angeles, California, Kaz Oshiro received both his BA and MFA from California State University in 1998 and 2002, respectively. Oshiro’s work investigates the core essence of art through the lens of various dichotomies like sculpture/painting, abstraction/figuration, and reality/illusion, while simultaneously referring to such artistic movements as Pop Art, Minimalism, and Abstract Expressionism.
Oshiro’s signature cabinets, suitcases, guitar amps, and so forth, are reproduced so impeccably that at first glance, they do not appear to be works of art. Yet the viewer's perspective is upended once they realize the objects’ true nature as painted fabrications, as if the sight of canvas stretched over a wooden frame is proof of their legitimacy as artworks. Moreover, the signs of wear and tear that further emphasize the “reality” of the works display a meticulous attention to detail in the vein of Hyperrealism. However, when the viewer turns their focus to these stains and scratches, they also reveal themselves to be brilliantly calculated, abstract expressionist gestures, akin to a Pollock or a de Kooning.
Still Life—a series of primarily monochromatic paintings—similarly wavers on the cusp of sculpture and painting as the canvases are warped and creased to fit the exhibition space. In this way, Oshiro’s works oscillate between opposing elements, often inviting confusion in the viewer. Yet at the same time, they offer an opportunity to reevaluate the conventional definitions and qualities attributed to fine art.
Oshiro’s recent solo exhibitions include Republic, MAKI Gallery (Tokyo, 2020); 96375, Nonaka-Hill, (Los Angeles, 2020); Steel Unforged, galerie frank elbaz (Paris, 2017); and A STANDARD, Honor Fraser Gallery (Los Angeles, 2017). In 2014, his solo exhibition, Chasing Ghosts, was held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA, Los Angeles). His work has been shown in group exhibitions at various institutions including The FLAG Art Foundation (New York, 2015), the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, 2012), and the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles, 2005). In 2022, Oshiro participated in the Aichi Triennale, one of the largest international contemporary art festivals in Japan, and in 2014, his work was included in Deception II: Into the Future, a traveling group show held at Bunkamura: The Museum (Tokyo), Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art (Hyogo), and Nagoya City Art Museum (Aichi). Oshiro’s work is part of many notable public and private collections, such as the Fonds national d’art contemporain (Paris), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA, Los Angeles), the Rubell Museum (Miami), and the Zabludowicz Collection (London).