corey okada


Sacramento News & Review - May 13, 1999
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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.

Sacramento Magazine - October 1989
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Sacramento Magazine
October 1989

Showing his vibrant oil abstracts in a local gallery—much less selling them at up to $1,5000 apiece—was the last thing 25-year-old Sacramento artist Corey Okada expected.

Though he’s more amused than surprised by his recent notoriety, saying he paints purely for pleasure, the soft-spoken Okada has splashed into the art community, first with graphite drawings at the ’87 Crocker-Kingsley show, and at the Accurate Art Gallery in last year’s citywide “Introductions ’88” exhibition. This month, Okada returns to the Accurate with a new crop of wild figurative abstracts, including “Kimberly Says” and “Winds Across the Hands of Fate.”

But what the viewer sees is not what the artist sees. Okada’s acute red-green color-blindness requires an assistant to assemble his palette, and leaves art watchers amazed at his kaleidoscope-like use of color.

An art student several years ago at American River College, Okada has since crafted to perfection more than just his paintings—pastries, to be precise. Toiling as the head pastry chef as Celestin’s restaurant on J Street, Okada spends nearly all of his time out of the kitchen in the studio.

Another local arts event this month will present up to 40 local artists opening their studios to the public in the Matrix Gallery’s Annual Studio Tour October 15. It’s a chance for the public to sample artwork in its formative stages. For details on Okada’s show and the studio tour, see Art and Special Events.


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