YDK Morimoe is an enigmatic artist from Japan. In a world obsessed with personal branding and visibility, where private space so easily and often becomes public, there are artists who manage to remain invisible. Using the monikers of xhxix and Hi, this digital artist, born in 1985, has one of the most recognizable and touching styles in contemporary art. His photorealistic portraits, mixed with painting effects and bold digital touches, are mostly staging young men with sickly pale bodies and dazed eyes.

The works express unhappiness, confusion, fatigue and suffering, perhaps as consequences of certain experiences, social aspects and the hardships of life. The eyes of the depicted boys are very expressive, and the colors amplify the sense of loneliness and, at the same time, of absence. Surrounded by childhood and naive elements, the teenagers seem captured inside their LSD trips, unveiling whimsical hallucinations. With their grunge looks and attitudes, they are an expression of teenage unease and disturbing fragility. Androgynous, they are questioning their sexual and future adult identities.

All images: Courtesy of artist, © xhxix

Artist •• xhxix

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