Shallow Puddles brims with full-color, detailed images of Yoshitomo Nara’s (born 1959) titular series. These paintings are executed on shallow circular dishes, covered with small square patches of canvas, and seemingly create portals to a world inundated with water. Depicted on each is a solitary figure that, like those in many of the artist’s iconic paintings, holds the viewer’s gaze with its large, full eyes, some even with averted eyes. Ground and figure are the main components of each work, yet the artist’s painterly execution calls attention to his manipulation of color, form and composition to create an image that transcends traditional portraiture. Included is an essay by Shigemi Takahashi, curator at Aomori Museum of Art, who has worked closely with the artist on numerous projects.