Kaz Ooka Oil Painting "Gathering at 50th Street," 2007
Kazuo “Kaz” Ooka (Japanese/American, 1947 – 2016)
Gathering at 50th Street, 2007
Oil painting on canvas
Signed and dated to the lower left
Title inscribed to verso
Kazuo Ooka was born in Kawasaki, Japan, and is best known for his portraits of Jazz musicians, political compositions and, plein air landscapes of Japan, Hawaii, and Italy. He earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tokyo Denki University. After working for many years as an engineer in Japan, he moved to the United States to create his own engineering business. At the age of 51, Kazuo drastically decided to get immersed in the artistic field and began to study drawing at Oakton Community College, Des Plaines, Illinois and became a member of the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts, Chicago. Subsequently, Kazuo went on to pursue his artistic career and moved to New york. He acquired his formal artistic training at the Art Student League of New York, where he developed the signature style and technique for which he is recognized today. During the last years of his life, he focused on experimenting with a variety of media and casting methods, creating outstanding three-dimensional pieces. Kazuo’s work has been exhibited in various avenues including the P&C Academy, Salon d’Automne, Paris, Museum of the Gulf Coast, and many others.