“The background snapshot is from a time I went to a New Orleans cemetery. The foreground is three people at my friend’s birthday party. It’s celebrating life, and with the cemetery there’s this juxtaposition … I lost both of my parents. My mother passed away in 2009, and my son came in 2014. My father passed away last year. I’ve been thinking about life and death a lot, and how it just repeats. People are born, and then they follow this path that the majority of people follow and then die. We wake up; we go to work; we go to sleep. Maybe it’s our defense mechanism: We try to find beauty in that repetition of things, the stars, the seasons. I think [our ability to do that] is a really great thing about people.”
“Figure is the only thing I paint or draw, because I just like painting and drawing people. It’s not that I love people … they can be really beautiful and really horrible on the inside. It’s this good and bad thing everyone has. I’m curious about people, I think. Through painting and drawing figure, I feel like I can say stuff that I want to say.”
About the artist
Isoko Onodera is a Baton Rouge artist focused on oil painting and charcoal drawing. Onodera moved to the United States from Japan in 1997, at the age of 22, and attained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Arkansas. She then moved to Baton Rouge in 2007 to earn her master’s degree from LSU.
Onodera taught as an adjunct instructor at LSU until she became pregnant with her now 2-year-old son. She is a full-time mother and practices her painting at night. The 42-year-old works from photographs, usually ones she’s taken of people she knows. She tests her compositions in Photoshop before painting the final piece on the canvas.
As an artist member of Baton Rouge Gallery, she showed work recently during a September group show. isokoonodera.com
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