Visual Artist Turns Vintage Photos Into Surreal Art

He’s a master at distorting old photographs and turning them into works of art. He’s Kensuke Koike, a Japanese visual artist, who was born in Nagoya, Japan, but works in Venice, Italy. The artistic process of this artist is as bizarre as its outcome.

He cuts, tears, disassembles old photographs, and uses them to recreate a surreal collage. His works leave the viewers totally awestruck and perplexed.

It all started when, while studying in high school in Japan, Koike got the opportunity to visit an Italian art high school as an exchange student for a year. This 16-year-old chose Italy because some of this country’s cities, like Florence, Milan, Naples, Rome, and Venice, were closely related to art.

This exchange program was the turning point in Koike’s life and he resolved to pursue art in Italy since it provided him with the environment that he had always longed for. So, after his exchange program ended, he decided to return to Italy to pursue art. He got enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice, Italy, where he received art education for nine years.

Koike started with oil painting and made his home his studio. However, his roommate took exception to the smell of oil paints and this prompted him to switch to photography. This career shift received a boost when he found old photographs at an antique shop in Milan. He started creating his unusual art using these photographs. This newly discovered penchant for collecting vintage photographs has not left him and he’s always on the lookout for black and white and sepia-toned vintage photographs.

Koike’s mastery lies in the fact that he’s able to create completely original images out of these vintage pics. How he constructs the original photographs into something surreal is to be seen to be believed. Some of them are so unusual and intriguing that they’re totally mind-blowing. Sample his creations where men have arms for legs and legs for arms or a woman with her eyes out of their sockets and strung up on the two ends of a stick on both sides outside the head. There seems no limit to his incredible imagination.

Koike’s works have been exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions all across the world. He also has a major collaboration with the global brand Gucci. His fan following of over 326,000 on Instagram is a testimony to the popularity of his works.





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Kensuke Koike

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