The Portrait of Time

The Portrait of Time

Osamu Obi, Japan

Oil on canvas, 227 x 227 cm


In his IBEX Masterpiece titled A Portrait of Time, Osamu Obi again endeavors to incorporate the past, present, and future into one canvas. ⁣The young woman gazing at us is present, alive, and alert, while the tree trunk lying on the floor speaks of old age, decay, and death, but somehow in a homey manner.
In this work, Osamu Obi takes the development of his compositions one step further, from facial close-ups to half-body portraits to full-body depictions, with more and more context, usually sparsely furnished rooms. This is not a straight line but a discernible direction in his compositions. The large scale of this work allowed for more environment to be included, yet, very naturally, the young woman commands our attention. She rules the painting, whether due to her at-ease pose, appraising look, or the fact that she appears twice.
The future, then, is cleverly represented by the bookcase filled with books that stand for fame or service lasting beyond one’s lifetime. Close inspection reveals that the spines of the books carry the names of his fellow artists in the IBEX Masterpiece Project, a thoughtful and humorous expression of his wishing them every success and immortal fame.