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Keita Morimoto

Illuminating the modern city

“I want my characters to express a longing to come out of the picture frame. As if this painted idealised self wants to become more real than the original living person.”

Keita Morimoto transforms urban streets into rich, cinematic backdrops. His paintings, in oil and acrylic on canvas, show his mastery of artificial light. Borrowing techniques from Baroque painters, Morimoto’s subjects pose under dramatic spotlights – a twist on Rembrandt's contrasting use of light and shadow. Yet, the soft focus on the central figures give the paintings the atmospheric haze of a...

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Keita Morimoto was born in 1990 in Osaka. He is based in Tokyo, Japan


At 16 years old Morimoto left Japan to join high school in Ontario, Canada. He elected art and gym classes because they used the least English skills. Thanks to this, he became a painter.


Morimoto tracks his studio schedule using Covey's Time Management Matrix. This tool organises his week to allow extra time to teach outdoor portrait painting. As his studio is in a basement, he says, “this is where I can get my weekly vitamin D so I don’t become a zombie.”

Collaborations with Keita Morimoto