Japanese Artist Creates Captivating Paintings of City Streets

Keita Morimoto is a Japanese artist who is best known for his captivating paintings that capture the city streets from a unique perspective.

Relying on the contrast of light and dark to create narratives, Morimoto’s works have an observational feel to them. The subjects featured in them are often shown lost in their thoughts or disconnected from the world that surrounds them. The viewer only has the opportunity to get a good look at them thanks to the lights from vending machines, mobile phones, or neon signs.

When Morimoto shows city streets without people, the previously mentioned sources of light become the main subjects. According to the artist, he feels like they have a “living presence” to them even if there is no one interacting with them. 

“They feel to be more than just an object but like a living creature. I enjoy capturing that energy at night,” Morimoto explained in a recent interview.

Morimoto grew up in Osaka, Japan, but moved to Toronto, Canada as a 16-year-old. Initially wanting to become a manga artist, he turned to painting and acquired a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Ontario College of Art & Design. His paintings have been exhibited all over the world and are part of permanent collections of High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, and Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, Italy.

Check out more of Morimoto’s captivating works below.