Yumiko Utsu (B. 1978)
signed in Japanese, titled, numbered and dated 'OCTUPUS PORTRAIT 2/7 2009' (on a label affixed to the reverse of the backing board)
21½ x 17½in. (54.5 x 44.5cm.)
Executed in 2009, this work is number two from an edition of seven
G/P Gallery, Tokyo.
Michael Hoppen Gallery, London.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2009.
Need Help? Email our Specialists or call +44 (0)20 7839 9060 with questions.
London, Saatchi Gallery, Out of Focus: Photography, 2012 (illustrated in colour, unpaged).
Paris, Galerie LWS, Natures, 2012 (another from the edition exhibited).
London, Guildhall Art Gallery, Victoriana: The Art of Revival, 2013 (another from the edition exhibited).
London, Michael Hoppen Gallery, Menagerie, 2016 (another from the edition exhibited).
Part of a generation of young Japanese photographers, Yumiko Utsu’s images present the fantastical and uncanny. Utsu uses food graphically and gratuitously to consider its aesthetic properties; her work is inspired by the imaginary worlds of Hieronymus Bosch, Salvador Dali, and the Czech filmmaker Jan Švankmajer’s, whose surreal animations are particularly humorous and lusciously multisensorial. In a nod to these surrealist forbearers, Octopus Portrait, 2009, is similarly textured and vaguely unsettling. The artist has taken what appears to be a 19th-century portrait of a woman posed jauntily within a sumptuous interior of velvet and brocade, and replaced her face with a fleshy octopus. Utsu’s creature is bent on domination, its tentacles curl confidently and sinisterly outwards, forming phantom eyes on the woman’s face, as it slowly engulfs its prey.
Post Lot Text
This lot will be subject to VAT of 20% on both the hammer price and buyer’s premium. Please see Conditions of Sale for further information.
VAT rate of 20% is payable on hammer price and buyer's premium