'Moomin', Miho Sato

Painting of an upright animal with indistinct features

Acrylic on board, 58 x 42 cm

My images are derived from magazines and postcards but they often lie dormant until a memory or sense of recognition stirs and they are renewed as the basis of a painting. Usually these images have layers of meaning but they are often connected to childhood feelings.

Cartoon images, magazine images, moomin, American Gigolo, Richard Gere looking at himself in a mirror, David Bowie,  androgynous. Nothing to do with them, just an image, something that is attractive and odd. Ciphers for my imagination, emblems of fascination. As a child, I had a calendar with Gainsborough and Reynolds and their use of children or animals, children with faces like dolls; even the animals seemed doll-like to me.

In a way many of these sources involve a form of mis-recognition but it is this off-centred reading that triggers a painting in me.


Miho Sato was born in Japan in 1967. She studied at the City & Guilds School 1994-97 and the Royal Academy Schools 1998-2001 on the Goldman and McAulay scholarship. She was a Fellow in Fine Art at the Royal Academy Schools 2001-2. Her exhibitions include the Royal Academy Summer show 1999-2003; Cheltenham Open Drawing Exhibition 1998-99; Miniature Raid Projects Los Angeles/ Kyubidou Gallery Tokyo 2003 and New British Painting II John Hansard Gallery Southampton 2004. She will have a solo exhibition at domoBaal contemporary art London 2005.