Episode #5 of the course “Street artists you should know”
Oscar San Miguel Erice was born in Spain in 1980 and is commonly known as the colorful street artist Okuda. Exhibiting around the world since 1997, Okuda’s work is now visible in Japan, Chile, Peru, and South Africa, in addition to its many installations throughout Europe. He held his first international exhibit in 2009 when he toured with IAM project and brought his work to a larger and more mature audience. In addition to public and street art, Okuda has been creating more personal and intimate works in his studio since 2009.
Okuda is influenced by Surrealism and pop art, which is evident in his combining organic forms with colorful patterns that seem to represent technology or progress. His interest in geometry is matched only with his precision skill in color theory, and his combinations of bright rainbow colors and greytones speaks to the modern urban condition of identity, asking existential questions.
While many of his murals are large and incorporate both natural elements and inanimate objects, Okuda’s style often creates a connection between the natural and the organic, where many people have tried to create a disconnect. For example, several of his murals depict a person’s face separated into colorful geometric planes. This gives the appearance that the person is wearing a mask and hiding his real face, while also drawing attention to the natural beauty of the shapes and contours of the person’s face.
Attempting to express some of the most difficult aspects of being human, Okuda portrays the tension people have with obstacles to individual freedom (such as capitalism, religion, and government). Currently residing in Spain, his first art exhibit in the US took place in 2014, where crowds reacted to his visually interesting and viscerally touching paintings.
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