Naomi Okubo is one of those artists whose work just entrances you. Fascinated by appearances, fashion and “the fear of others’ watchful eyes” – which probably explains why all the girls in her paintings are hiding their mugs in one way or another.
In her painterly practice, Naomi Okubo develops beautiful and seductive images that mask darker themes relating to her adolescence and that are connected to greater problems and inconsistencies in society. Okubo's paintings are populated by shy girls who wouldn’t face the mirror, who hide behind books and flowers or simply stare at the floor and let their heavy, black bobs block their view. They are fragile and conscious, also mysterious, almost endearing.
“I’ve always cared about appearances. The ideas for my work come from an inferiority complex and my experiences during adolescence. That is when everyone starts to think and worry about what others think of their look. When I changed my own image, people changed their attitude towards me,” says Naomi. “They started to be concerned about me, and our relationship became better. This made me realize the power of fashion and my own fear of watchful eyes.