Toshinami by Phil Couture

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Phil Couture



60 x 40 cm | 23 1/2 x 15 1/2 in

oil paint on linen

  • Chairman's Choice Awards ($350 Cash Award)

This is a portrait of Toshinami, a first year maiko (apprentice geisha) from the Miyagawa-cho district of Kyoto, Japan.  Ever since I moved to Kyoto in 2012, I have been fascinated by geisha culture. Their path is unconventional and these women reject many of societies norms to become skilled musicians, performers and “women of art”. To quote Liza Dalby, “Whatever is special about geisha and imbues them with a certain mystique, arises because their lives are set apart from everyday society. Today, the walls of their world are art and discipline.”