Martha Otero is pleased to present Rob Sato’s Curses. This is his first exhibition with the gallery and it’s funded in part by Orion Code. Sato’s work layers personal, historical, and imaginary elements into rich, dynamic imagery that often explores themes of time, movement and memory. Working mainly in watercolors, his work is by turns intensely detailed and wildly loose and improvisational.
Curses collects Sato’s latest adventures on paper, including his massive project Five Movements For Little Guys, a series of ten foot high watercolors where he set out to paint every single person he can remember. The figures are painted in miniature, and they migrate through five fantastical landscapes in a colorful parade of characters, outfits, symbols, and visual associations. He will introduce a new series titled Seances which features a set of freestanding watercolors which are meant to enact rituals summoning the supernatural, to overcome, cast, and perhaps invite curses, and to enter alternate dimensions. Artifacts is made up of a series of baseballs drawn on by Sato, an activity he used to do in his teens to combat boredom while sitting on the bench during games. After rediscovering these baseballs in his parents’ garage he began doodling on them again. The drawings soon evolved into cryptic maps, symbols, and narratives relating to memories of the years that he played baseball. Also being shown are drawings and sketchbooks, including one book that mutated into a kind of pop-up paper sculpture titled The Battle of Book 52. Resembling a battlefield charge, it was conceived as a drawing game to have characters “fight” through to the last page, reflecting the artist’s own struggle with feelings of obligations to fill every page of every blank book he starts drawing in.
Rob Sato lives and works in Los Angeles.