Japanese photographer Kenta Cobayashi is developing a new kind of aesthetic and artistic self-expression for the digital age. He draws inspiration from his own life, photographing the streets of Tokyo or his friends. A radical computer-treatment makes the pictures look like abstract paintings. Think Gerhard Richter with Photoshop.
The work of Kenta Cobayashi (Japan, 1992) could be described as photography for the 21st century. He draws inspiration from his own life, photographing the streets of Tokyo, his friends. But those images are only the beginning. Behind his computer the photos become to him what canvasses are for a painter. A radical Photoshop-treatment gives the photos their true power of expression. Cobayashi deforms the pixels, streaks through the images, places ‘water’ drops – like a digital Gerhard Richter. On one photo you can still see recognisable objects in the background, the other has become an abstract painting. In 2016 he bundled his works into his first book Everything_1.
Thanks to the internet and smartphones, our virtual and ‘real’ lives have become nearly merged. What’s more, we produce and upload such a flood of photographs, that it becomes increasingly difficult to make photography that stands out.
Cobayashi describes himself as a digital native, he grew up with technology. In his photography, videos and performances he experiments with new technologies such as virtual reality and sound programming. He is developing a new kind of aesthetic and artistic self-expression for the digital age.