The Gaze of a Japanese Girl


The Gaze of a Japanese Girl


Characteristic of Santos’ work, “Japan-Girl” uses a variety of mediums and techniques to define and personalize an old photograph.

A demure-looking girl kneels between two gently arching flowering branches. Her dress and accessories suggest traditional Japanese garb fitting to the aesthetic symmetry of the scene. The pale white of the vases and tatamis match her intriguing expression. Her vacant gaze draws attention to the space beyond the lens that she seems to be lost in, a world of dreaminess and mystery. Faded pinks and blues are barely present in the aged photo but their calming effect is disrupted by the bright red dripping stain.

Combined with the white shapes, the abstract layers draw attention to the depth of the art piece in addition to their spatial placement. Combining mediums results in drawing attention to the meta-perspective questioning the motivation of the creator to deconstruct and to edit an existing photograph. 

As a framed wall picture this piece adds an intriguing flair to any space with its unique perspective and combination of materials. The artwork can exude an aura of class and nostalgia but with a twist of playfulness and intentionality. It serves as a good complement for a space with a similar antique and sophisticated atmosphere.

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Nacho Santos Gugel | Madrid

“Since I began painting in my childhood, I have concluded from experience that figurative painting is fundamentally incapable of generating expression, for this reason I develop a deliberately artificial figuration. When crossing to the abstraction my work looks for the disturbing thing, the alive thing and fresh, because it forces us to face our beliefs in the stable meanings and the comfort of the rules”.

Studied in Art and Design in London, Paris, Florance and Madrid. Nacho based his early works on the style of Picasso and the German Expressionists, but transformed from an Art Brut to the most recent Abstract Expressionism. His works are collected by Banco Santander, ONO, Siemens, CITO Foundation, F. Núñez del Cubillo, Joaquín Sabina, Carla Pereyra and Diego Simeone, among others.