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Erina Matsui, Nightmare Before New Year, 2013, oil on canvas, wire, 27 1/2 x 27 1/2 x 3/4".

Erina Matsui

Kunsraum Kreuzberg (Künstlerhaus Bethanien) / Urban-art.info

Erina Matsui, Nightmare Before New Year, 2013, oil on canvas, wire, 27 1/2 x 27 1/2 x 3/4".

In “Road Sweet Road,” her first exhibition in Germany, the Japanese artist Erina Matsui showed seven paintings, three wall objects, and a video, in addition to the installation Road Sweet Road mit Künstlerhaus Bethanien (all works 2013), which was literally and thematically its centerpiece, and lent its title to the show as a whole. The psychedelic quality of Matsui’s imagery simultaneously alienates and fascinates: In her self-portraits, for instance, she combines attributes that typify the Japanese idea of kawaii, or “cute,” with surreal deformations. Throughout her oeuvre, Matsui represents herself in extraordinarily detailed, minutely executed paintings. Often she paints her face larger than life, so that it hyperrealistically fills the canvas, but with grotesque distortions and transformations. In Growing, for example, she shows herself as a turnip with an unsettlingly dreamy

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