Best known as a special-effects make-up artist in Hollywood, Los Angeles-based Japanese artist Kazuhiro Tsuji creates impressive hyper realistic 3-D portraits/sculptures of famous artists and figures such as Andy Warhol, Dali, and Abraham Lincoln. Employing a variety of mold making and sculpting procedures, Tsuji constructs his busts with a variety of resins, silicones and pigments.
* Below you will also see a quick interview video made by Aline Pimentel during her visit to Kazuhiro Tsuji’s studio which gives an idea how he creates such detailed, lifelike art pieces.
Kazuhiro Tsuji was born in Kyoto, Japan.
He started to paint and sculpt in childhood, expressing an early enthusiasm for art, painting, photography, nature, science and technology. Experimenting in various media, he discovered portraiture was his true passion.
In high school Kazuhiro worked with an array of film making techniques, focusing his career aspirations on Special Effects Makeup. This led to a correspondence with acknowledged master of makeup, Dick Smith (Amadeus, The Exorcist, The Godfather). A long lasting friendship began when Smith invited Tsuji to work on the Japanese film “Sweet Home”.
In Japan Tsuji started his own company, working on numerous Japanese movies including “Rhapsody in August” directed by Akira Kurosawa. Tsuji also taught Special Effects Makeup at the Yoyogi Animation Institute.
In 1996 Tsuji was sponsored by Rick Baker (Nutty Professor, Harry and Henderson) to work on “Men In Black” in the USA. This prompted a decade-long collaboration with Baker where Tsuji was project supervisor and makeup artist.
Tsuji won a BAFTA award for “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” and was nominated for “Planet of the Apes”. He won the Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Awards (Local 706) for “Planet Of The Apes” and “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”. Tsuji also received Oscar nominations for “Click” and “Norbit”.
In 2007 Kazuhiro Tsuji started KTS Effects Inc in Los Angeles. In retrospect his film career had served as a laboratory developing cutting edge styles of portrait painting, photography and sculpture.
He is primarily focused on his work as a portrait artist creating fine art pieces while also collaborating with other imaginative artists. He has exhibited in several galleries and at solo shows with various organizations.
Tsuji Kazuhiro’s hyper realistic technique, learned while he was in the film industry, renders portraits that emit a profound sense of soul and emotion to viewers.
Images © Kazuhiro Tsuji