Kazuhiro Tsuji – King of Hyperrealistic Sculptures and Make Up

These almost unbelievably realistic sculptures of Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali and Abraham Lincoln are imbued with a downright menacing level of detail. The extremely uncanny likenesses created by former Hollywood special effects makeup artist, Kazuhiro Tsuji are designed to bring about an intense intimacy not available in reality.

Kazuhiro Tsuji has made a name for himself in Hollywood, working as a special effects makeup artist for over 25 years. Most recently his spectacular work can be admired in The Darkest Hour, where he turned Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill. Tsuji has been awarded the Oscar for best makeup and hairstyling for his work in the movie.

Tsuji began to paint and sculpt in childhood, expressing an enthusiasm for art, painting, photography. Going on to experiment in various media, he discovered portraiture was his true passion.

“My aim is to sculpt portraits that go beyond capturing a likeness. I create these heads from the inside out, bringing to life the appearance of inner thought and emotion as I layer the silicone. Empathy serves as a primary guide to my process. I strive for a kind of reticence, an ambiguity that teases your curiosity to keep you guessing at what thoughts lurk behind those eyes. When a neutral expression is adjusted just right, it can trigger an illusion that the face is on the verge of sliding into different moods. It’s a kind of subtlety that serves as a mask hiding a complexity beneath. Face to face, viewers approach the giant heads which are eight times bigger than life size in volume. The stillness and detail allow for close examination of each pore with a level of scrutiny not even permitted to lovers. The sculptures permit an impossibly close shared moment with the celebrated.” – Kazuhiro Tsuji

Tsuji chooses to sculpt characters that have an interesting story, who had a struggle and a breakthrough in their life. Abraham Lincoln, Frida Kahlo, Dick Smith, all are people who he looks up to.

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