Naoto Hattori is a Japanese artist based in new York. He attended the School of Visual Arts there a well as receiving a BFA in illustration from the Tokyo Designers College.
Though he lists his profession as including illustration and graphic design, most of the work that can be seen on his web site and other venues seems to be gallery art. He works in acrylic watercolor and ink, creating his dreamlike visions of imaginary worlds with rich textures and a muted color palette.
His often grotesque figures, in turn doll-like, human, alien, animalistic or plant-like in nature, grow, twist and intersect with one another, and parts of themselves, like out of control collisions of mixed DNA set on super growth mode.
Figures intertwine and morph into other shapes, hands extend, body parts distort and eyes appear everywhere as Hattori escorts you through his phantasmagoric dreamscapes.
As in the image above, Inspiration, Hattori gives us an immediate tactile sensation on which to base our perceptions, particularly in the rendering of skin and the textures of materials like wood and stone.
He playfully works in bits of pop culture in places and likes to play with historical culture, particularly the Mona Lisa, of which he has several fanciful variations (I can’t give you direct links because his site, for reasons that are lost on me, is in frames. See also my post on the Mona Lisa.)
His web site contains a small selection of available originals (though all currently sold), with larger images linked to the thumbnails. There is also a section of older sold works, that are unfortunately only shown as small thumbnails. The limited editions section contains the best images, often with nice large detail images.
I’ve listed some other places to view his work below. You might also see his list of gallery showings and check the individual galleries; there is a nice selection of large images on the Copro Nason Gallery.
There is also a selection of Hattori’s work on the beinArt Surreal Art Collective, along with an interview. Hattori is included in their collection, Metamorphosis. There is also a dedicated collection available on one of the the artist’s two web sites.
Some will, of course, find Hattori’s work more appealing than others; and its strong appeal in certain circles may be indicated by the availability in his store of specialized items like prints on perforated blotter paper.