Tim Okamura investigates identity, the urban environment, metaphor, and cultural iconography through a unique method of painting – one that combines an essentially ‘realist’ approach to the figure with collage, spray paint and mixed media. The juxtaposition of the rawness and urgency of street art and academic ideals has created a visual language that acknowledges a traditional form of story telling through portraiture, while infusing the work with resonant contemporary motifs.
Born in Edmonton, Canada, painter Tim Okamura graduated with an M.F.A. in Illustration as Visual Journalism in New York and moved to Brooklyn, New York, where he continues to live and work.
Okamura - a recipient of the 2004 Fellowship in Painting from the New York Foundation for the Arts – has exhibited extensively in galleries throughout the world, including the U.S., Canada, Italy, Japan, Ecuador and Turkey, and has been selected nine times to appear in the prestigious BP Portrait Award Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London, England.
Tim Okamura’s art is on display in the permanent collections of the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, The Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the Toronto Congress Center, the Hotel Arts in Calgary, Canada, and Standard Chartered Bank in London, England.
Celebrity collectors include Uma Thurman, musicians John Mellencamp, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (The Roots), director Ben Younger, as well as actors Bryan Greenberg, Vanessa Marcil, Annabella Sciorra, and Ethan Hawke.