Keita Morimoto's modern paintings of Toronto inspired by Edward Hopper and Japan

Fruit Market, 2017, oil on linen, 60 ¼ x 48 in. Courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery.

Edward Hopper, Winslow Homer, Philip-Lorca diCorcia and William Eggleston are just a few of the inspirations behind Keita Morimoto's latest series of paintings. Entitled Light Passage, the artworks include classical compositions and dramatic use of light and dark along with subtle references to anime, street fashion and youthful rebellion, tracing back to Morimoto's Japanese heritage.

"All these artists make images that take advantage of classically oriented compositions to tell various stories," explains Morimoto. "They depict their own personal experiences while distilling magical and mysterious qualities from banal and ordinary, decrepit and disenchanted scenes. This is the theme I am most interested in and have been exploring for some time now."

Born in Osaka, Japan and currently based in Toronto, Canada, Morimoto has earned a wide and enthusiastic following for his art, which in recent years has shifted to paintings of gritty areas of downtown Toronto and Etobicoke. The featured characters you see are from photographs of friends that he then paints and inserts into his cityscapes.

You can see Morimoto's Light Passage at the Nicholas Metivier Gallery in Toronto from 8 February until 3 March 2018. Or visit keitamorimoto.com.

Arrival, 2017, acrylic and oil on linen, 72 x 96 in. Courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery.

Arrival, 2017, acrylic and oil on linen, 72 x 96 in. Courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery.

Half Light, 2017, acrylic and oil on linen, 60 x 48 in. Courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery.

Half Light, 2017, acrylic and oil on linen, 60 x 48 in. Courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery.

Meeting Place, 2017, acrylic and oil on linen, 72 x 96 in. Courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery.

Meeting Place, 2017, acrylic and oil on linen, 72 x 96 in. Courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery.

Viewpoint, 2017, acrylic and oil on panel, 16 x 20 in. Courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery.

Viewpoint, 2017, acrylic and oil on panel, 16 x 20 in. Courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery.