acrylic on board
103 x 146 cm. (40 1/2 x 57 1/2 in.)
Painted in 1997
Kyuryudo Art Publishing Co., Tetsuya Ishida Posthumous Works, Tokyo, Japan, 2006, p. 27. (illustrated)

Lot Essay

Victimized by consumerism and modernity, Ishida transforms his body into machinery in means to convey his body as a vessel of empty existence in Supermarket (Lot 869). Tragically mutated, the arms become an automatic belt used in supermarkets to expedite the process in counters. Horizontally industrious arms are weighed in heavy colors of grey, rusted with brown patches as if it was overworked in repetition. The packaged foods are ornamented in unappetizing hues of brown and orange. The melancholy palette overcasts the ambiance of an industrialized factory; here, the oeuvre is not in silence like in Untitled but more at work, where the circulating motors can be heard with the beeping sounds of the price detector. The sober gaze becomes the core expressionism, as the metamorphosized protagonist cry with muted expression of the loss of purpose and self, unveiling the existential anxiety of the artist.

The damaged life and existence is blamed towards the rapid economic growth and technological production of Japan. Ishida observes life by looking into youths and their conditions of life in response to society and technology's expectation upon them. The solitude and identity crisis are expressed poignantly through his emblematic scenarios, heavily imbued with skepticism of an excess culture that has reinforced an entrapment of self and even of the city structure. The tightly woven infrastructure is also to be condemned for breeding contemporary symptoms of claustrophobia, where loss of mobility and space has upshot a physical and mental traffic of individuals. The seclusion individuals felt developed collectively with technology, as humans rarely communicated or found deeper connections with each other. Ishida consents to this social fact and therapeutically communicates it through his paintings.

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