|Click on image for scanned article
Sacramento News & Review
May 13, 1999
Over the years, the member’s-only historic Sutter Club, established in
1889, has been hosting smaller exhibition for local artists. This month, in association
with the Thomas A. Oldham Gallery, the club presents the works of figurative painter
Corey Okada, and in cooperation with Michael Himovitz Gallery, sculptor
and antiquities restorer Al Farrow.
Okada has mostly been painting figurative works since 1980. His usually female images
evoke fey romantic feelings with occasional dark, gothic implications. The works’ themes
have varied over the years, but there is always a sensuous aura about them and at times, a
subtle to outright erotic seductiveness. Painterly veils of color envelope the women,
producing a type of visual humidity, softly focusing clarity as if Okada used a camera
instead of a paint brush to render their classic exotic beauty.
In this show, however, most females in the paintings are rendered sharply and appear
outright illustrative. Okada’s color palette has still kept its overall dark range but
bursts with warm shades of deep pinks, mauves, fiery oranges and yellows that vary in intensity
like lit flames at different degrees of heat. His new difficult vertical format of 18 by 42
inches is extremely challenging visually and technically, placing the human form, sometimes
contorted, comfortably inside an incredibly uncomfortable box — like a coffin. The
fairly dark backgrounds only add to the women’s sexual appeal as luminous skin, sometimes
only implied hair, damp lips and especially moving eyes pierce the canvas' surface to look
out at the viewer.
The Corey Okada and Al Farrow exhibition is up through June 20 at the Sutter Club. Viewing
is by appointment only. Call D. Oldham at 444-9624 or Chuck MIller at 929-7896 for details.