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Tomoo Gokita

One Thousand Shades of Gray

BY ELAINE W. NG

FINAL CONFRONTATION, 2012, acrylic gouache on canvas, 181.9 x 227.3 cm. Courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo/New York.

Tomoo Gokita is an outsider among Tokyo art insiders.

With his boyish charm, he is sociable yet reticent. He regularly declares his love for beer and professional wrestling—particularly the 1976 match between Japan's Antonio Inoki and American champion boxer Muhammad Ali. He studies record-album covers rather than art catalogs. So when the easygoing, 46-year-old painter of abstract-figurative canvases—more appreciated in the indie music and zine…

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