Posted by Marianthe Smart
Note: The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of RetoxMagazine.com
Have you ever picked up a stone from a river bed, in your local park, on a country walk? Maybe you looked at the pretty colours, skimmed it along the water, if you were particularly ambitious, nicked a larger one for your garden. But did you ever think there was a smile lurking there? A purse? Maybe open up that rock to unleash golden baubles and shells? I’m sure it never even crossed you mind, although the thought that I may be a little off with the fairies probably has. Well, to defend my case I present artist and stone mason Hirotoshi Itoh. Award winning and having exhibited across the globe, this Japanese sculptor was inspired by the natural quality of stone, 'optimizing a stone’s original shape'. And his work does just that. Collecting stones from a neighbourhood river, Itoh never muddles the natural form of the rocks, creating fascinating sculptures that range from exquisite to eerie, with a bit of quirk added into every one.
Itoh’s painstaking dedication to detail is astounding, especially given his medium’s stubborn nature. He seems to see past the difficulty that comes with hand-working rock, giving each stone its own personality and once again bringing this neglected medium back into the limelight. Taking the concept of rock being hard and cold, Itoh juxtaposes this by imbuing a 'warmth and humour', giving his stones teeth, eyes (yes, you read that right), and unzipping their gorgeous artistic potential with an inquisitive eye and clearly, a fantastic sense of humour.
Hirotoshi Itoh rock art. Image 1.
Hirotoshi Itoh rock art. Image 2.
Hirotoshi Itoh rock art. Image 3.
Hirotoshi Itoh rock art. Image 4.
Hirotoshi Itoh rock art. Image 5.
Hirotoshi Itoh rock art. Image 6.