Born 1975 in Mie, Japan

Mika Kato paints beautiful and eerie monumental portraits of dolls, with exaggerated features and ambivalent expressions. The subjects in Kato’s work are in fact real baby-sized dolls the artist has made using clay, glass eyes, and human hair. Before beginning each painting, Kato designs a doll, and after its completion, spends time with it in order to decide upon its identity and clothing. She also makes a series of photographic studies in order to determine the ultimate composition of the painting. Because her process is drawn out, it can sometimes take a year to complete a work. Kato’s style is characterized by its meticulous attention to detail, soft forms, and lush colors; she stretches her canvases on boards with rounded corners. (ART Sy)