Aya Kato’s New Phantasms

Take a look at Cheval Noir [Black Horse] – artist Aya Kato’s portfolio site, especially if you’re familiar with her work. I was just reminded of her by Ashbet and noticed a significant change in her work’s direction. Aya Kato made herself a name with eye-drowning elaborate technicolor illustrations, influenced in equal parts by Ukiyo-e and Art Nouveau. More than half of her 2008 work borders on minimal, with subdued colors and more negative space. After years of churning out ornate psychedelic panels it’s an understandable step for the young artist. It’ll be curious to see whether she’ll push herself even further in this direction.

Spider, 2008

Aya Kato has been featured in countless magazines and her designs adorn everything from chocolate boxes to T-shirts to Hitachi adverts. At such a young age she’s had international success, and I’m eager to see whether her new work’s look will catch on commercially. Compare the image above, created in 2008, to Akazukin, from three years ago, below. Patterns and transformation are featured in both, but the similarities end there. Personally, as much as I love the clean and minimal, I miss the vivid landscapes and superabundance of Aya’s older work.

Akazukin, 2005

More from Aya Kato below the jump.

Neko Musume, 2008

Fantasy, 2007

Rokuro Kubi, 2008

Dracula, 2008

Pink World, 2007

Italy, 2005

Samurai Turu, 2005

Kaeru, 2006

11 Responses to “Aya Kato’s New Phantasms”

  1. Ashbet Says:

    She really reminds me of a cross between Kay Nielsen and Aubrey Beardsley, although very much with her very own visionary twist.

    Gorgeous stuff!

  2. Zoetica Says:

    I adore Neilsen’s work! Many similar influences, I’m sure.

  3. cappy Says:

    Cool, it’s like digital Dali. Trippy.

  4. Lolla Says:

    ART PORN!!!

    Love it!

  5. Jerem Morrow Says:

    I think you just made me love Tori again, after disconnecting for several albums…

  6. Zoetica Says:

    Jerem, I just wish they’d really decked Tori out all the way, crazy deco hair an all!

  7. Lady Lavona Says:

    I got my copy of Coilhouse last week… I can’t put it down! Keep up the great work! xo Lavona

  8. Fifa Says:

    Yup, it’s definitely Nielsen-Yoshitaka Amano-Beardsley..

  9. Ben Morris Says:

    It’s always nice to be introduced to a fantastic artist that I am completely unaware of. Thanks Zo!

  10. R. Says:

    I thought I recognized the name and then remembered that her work was inspiration for “Sleeps With Butterflies”. Her work is definitely beautiful to look at.

  11. enhofseon Says:

    I was truly amazed by Aya Kato’s work at first and when I learned that she’s using Photoshop and Illustrator program on her pieces my admiration for her went from 10 to 2. I work a lot with these programs and the copy and paste materials seen on her pieces are so obvious, I lost a little respect for her medium. I’m surprised a lot of people don’t know this.