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「政治家」

 洋の東西を問わず権力者はお抱えの画家に肖像画を描かせてきました。
ゴヤや狩野派等、お抱え画家とはある意味成功した者の称号と考えられます。
例えば現代日本画家の故平山郁夫画伯は権力者、政治家を描いています。
そこで画家として成功していない者が
    日本画家に成る→成功する→肖像画を描く
と言う成功のシステムを真似て
    日本画家に成る→成功していない→しかし肖像画を描く
と言う当然依頼もされていないのに描くのがこのシリーズです。
現存している日本の肖像画は豊臣秀吉や徳川家康など、その時代の国家元首や政治家の者が多数残っています。
今で言うところの内閣総理大臣やその閣僚なんかがそれらにあたると思います。
 以上の事柄を念頭に基本的に毎年の総理大臣を描いています。
2年以上政権が維持できている年はその政権の目立った政治家を取り上げています。



POLITICIANS

Court painters both in the East and the West have painted portraits of powerful figures for centuries. To be a court painter—such as Goya or those of the Kano School—was to achieve great success as a painter. The late Hirayama Ikuo (1930-2009), a Japanese-style artist, was among those who often painted portraits of politicians and those in power.

There is a success formula for becoming a great painter in the traditional Japanese style: be a Japanese-style painter; be successful; and thereafter paint commissioned portraits. The Politicians series was produced by emulating this formula, the only difference is that I haven’t yet achieved success as a Japanese-style painter. I insist on painting portraits despite never being commissioned.

There are many extant portraits of heads of state from the Sengoku period (period of warring states) such as Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu, as well as other leading political figures. They are thought to be the equivalent of the Prime Minister and cabinet members in our present time. Annually I paint the Japanese Prime Minister, no matter who it is. When the ruling party clings to power for more than two years, a pre-eminent politician in the ruling party for that year will be featured instead.
                                     
                                      Translation by Eiko Aoki