Home Japanese warriors Against a backdrop of world events, Tim Okamura’s bold portraits exude powerful energy

Against a backdrop of world events, Tim Okamura’s bold portraits exude powerful energy



#acrylic painting #oil painting #painting #portraits #Tim Okamura

July 19, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Fire Fighter” (2021), oil on canvas, 60 x 76 inches

Marked with visible brushstrokes and drips of paint, Tim Okamura’s (previously) portraits blend realistic depictions of his subjects with the fervent and unbridled qualities of street art. The Japanese-Canadian artist, who recently moved his studio from Brooklyn to Queens, centers his practice on storytelling and emphasizing the distinctive energies of those he paints.

Much of Okamura’s portraiture develops serially, whether as health heroes collection devoted to nurses and doctors working tirelessly throughout the pandemic or to the dominant figures of the Women Warriors— many of these works will be featured in a solo exhibition in September 2023 at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center in Pittsburgh. Rendered primarily in oil with the occasional addition of acrylic or spray paint, the pieces capture the raw nature of Okamura’s process and the distinctive, powerful presence of his subjects.

If you’re in Los Angeles, visit the Academy Museum to see the artist’s portrait of the late writer Toni Morrison. Otherwise, find more of his paintings on his site and Instagram, and browse limited-edition prints in his shop.

Toni Morrison circa 1993

“Nurse Tracy” (2021), oil on linen, 40 x 60 inches

“Blood, Sweat, and Tears (Portrait of the Artist Marc Andre)” (2022), oil on linen, 32 x 26 inches

“Rites of Spring” (2021), oil on canvas, 64 x 64 inches

“Rich Medina” (2022), oil on wood panel, 24 x 24 inches

“Brightness” (2022), oil and acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60 inches

#acrylic painting #oil painting #painting #portraits #Tim Okamura

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