For the first time the work of cult hero Yoshitomo Nara has been published in a large scale portfolio format. Presented here are 77 full scale drawings, including new works produced for Yokohama 2005, printed on perforated pages that be torn out and subsequently displayed.
One day Yoshitomo Nara and graf both looked at each other’s atelier and workshop, they instantly sensed that they were the ‘same kinds.’ That was how their idea of “S.M.L.” exhibition started. graf created the most suitable ‘environment’ for Nara’s artistic work, where Nara actually produced his works of art. The exhibition is about Nara’s artworks, and the environment around them. The book traces back and goes forth to some twinkling time of production and passions that Nara and graf share, presenting them at its best.
Artist Yoshitomo Nara’s work has received unprecendented international recognition in recent years and has been presented in many publications, yet none have offered such an intimate portrait of the artist and his process. Photographer Mie Morimoto worked with Nara for six months to document the development of nuance and texture of his art, including his signature enfant terribles paintings and weeping dog sculptures. The book includes never before published excerpts from Nara’s Journals and revelatory photographs documenting the body of work included in the travelling exhibition I Don’t Mind If You Forget Me.
Featuring essays and short fiction by a range of contemporary writers, punk musicians and cultural critics, as well as writings by Yoshitomo Nara himself, the cult artist’s book Nothing Ever Happens–available through D.A.P. for the first time–examines both Nara’s work and the subjects it addresses. Readers are invited into a world where emotions are not expected to be filtered, make-believe is not equated with lunacy and the world is both fantastic and terrifying.
One of the most important and best-loved Japanese contemporary artists, Nara distinctively transcends a national style to offer a universal psychological narrative of childhood. In this beautifully designed book with cool paper changes and pitch-perfect image selection, Nara’s work is paired with writings by Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney, writer Dave Eggers, Deborah Harry (Blondie), Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock) and others of equally interesting stature.
Manga meets Pop meets Zen in Over the Rainbow, the first combined presentation of Yoshitomo Nara and Hiroshi Sugito–close friends and stars of the Japanese contemporary art scene. Nara, born in 1959, is regarded as one of Japan’s foremost contemporary artists, and has attained a cult status in his homeland that is hardly conceivable for European artists to reach. His signature paintings and drawings of children, often sporting grim gazes, that which recall the tradition of popular Japanese mangas, are among the most sought out items on the international art scene. His former student, Sugito, born in 1970, has also enjoyed great popularity in Japan. Sugito’s delicate, finely-painted works are more subtle than Nara’s and combine influences of Eastern and Western painting. The two artists completed the first of their joint works in 1997, and developed the idea for a joint exhibition and book project, Over the Rainbow, that same year. Eventually, in the summer of 2004, their goal was realized when Nara and Sugito were invited by the Austrian Galerie Belvedere to live and work in Vienna for three months. Over the Rainbow documents their visit: included are images of the artists at work, and the paintings and drawings that resulted from their collaboration.
At first sight, the childlike figures for which Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara is now famous seem altogether cute and appealing. On closer examination his creations are robust, angry and vulnerable creatures, standing up defiantly to the world of adults–self-confident, stubborn and sometimes violent. Nara’s work is influenced by Japanese comic books but he is unique in the contemporary art scene for tapping into horror through the medium of the innocent child–this is particularly poignant in Japan’s controlled society of rigid language and social structures, especially considering recent shockingly violent crimes in Japan involving children as the aggressors. Nara’s work instills the viewer with a juxtaposition of the innocence of children and the evil nature of humanity, or the fall from grace. Like Kurt Cobain’s music, Nara’s Pop art, too, aims to lend expression to his generation’s concerns, encouraging it to meet the constraints of high achievement. Self-determination, individuality, and freedom are themes that infuse Nara’s voice that is clearly heard in Japan and America, where the dividing line between “low” and “high” culture is less stringently drawn than in Europe. In addition to Nara’s signature paintings, sculptures, and drawings; (poems and diary entries by the artist); this 204-page book includes texts by the art critic Stephan Trescher and the Japanese cult author Banana Yoshimoto.
Timely and wide-ranging, this volume explores in-depth the theme of destruction in international contemporary art. While destruction as a theme can be traced throughout art history, from the early atomic age it has remained a pervasive and compelling element of contemporary visual culture. Damage Control features the work of more than 40 international artists working in a range of media—painting, sculpture, photography, film, installation, and performance—who have used destruction as a means of responding to their historical moment and as a strategy for inciting spectacle and catharsis, as a form of rebellion and protest, or as an essential part of re-creation and restoration. Including works by such diverse artists as Jean Tinguely, Andy Warhol, Bruce Conner, Yoko Ono, Gordon Matta-Clark, Pipilotti Rist, Yoshitomo Nara, and Laurel Nakadate, the book reaches beyond art to enable a broader understanding of culture and society in the aftermath of World War II, under the looming fear of annihilation in the atomic age, and in the age of terrorism and other disasters, real and imagined.
The final in a series of three collectable books rediscovering the archives of AnOther Magazine, one of the world’s most influential fashion magazines.
Another Art Book looks back on the ambitious artistic projects commissioned exclusively for the magazine’s pages since 2001, bringing together some of the most iconic names in modern art including Jake & Dinos Chapman, Yayoi Kusama, Hans Peter Feldmann, Yoshitomo Nara, Ernesto Caivano, Keith Tyson, Urs Fischer and Damien Hirst.
Opening an early copy of AnOther Magazine, readers were immediately confronted with ten pages filled with nothing but art – be it Jake and Dinos Chapman’s twisted vision of the Holy Land Experience, a hypnotic sea of dots penned by Yoyoi Kusama, or Damien Hirst’s bloody skulls and severed heads shot by David Bailey (deemed so shocking the pages were sealed with glue). AnOther Magazine thereby subverted the expectations of readers accustomed to finding a bank of advertising at the front of magazines.
Over the years the format has evolved, but AnOther Magazine’s unique connection with the art word continues. In 2007 Dress Art paired fifteen artists including Jeff Koons, Annie Morris and John Isaacs with fifteen designers from Stella McCartney to Dolce & Gabbana, and challenged them to create fifteen unique dresses. The results brought together the fields of fashion and art as never before – worlds which have since become inextricably linked.
Another Art Book follows Another Portrait Book and Another Fashion Book. The series is edited by Jefferson Hack and designed by David James Associates.
Cartoon and comic book imagery are suddenly ubiquitous. Since the 1950s in the United States, they have been considered primarily as an entertainment vehicle for children, their lowbrow status allowing them to thrive outside of the critical, aesthetic, and commercial criteria expected of the art world. Today cartoon-based imagery is regular fare on TV and in movies from Hollywood to Tokyo, aimed toward both children and adults. At the same time, an alternative use of this imagery is proliferating in cult and underground zines and comics, as well as in respected art galleries, museums, and contemporary art spaces around the world. As the boundaries between high and low blur to the point of disappearance, cartoons have emerged from cult status in the underground to mainstream culture, where they provide a vehicle for critique in a postmodern world. They continue a narrative tradition at a time when computer-generated systems of nonlinear thinking are emerging and epitomize the accessibility and disposability of our times. Cartoons and comics provide a universal language of immediately recognizable cultural icons that appeal to the instant-gratification demands of our contemporary world. Internationally, cartoon imagery is playing an increasing role in contemporary art. Whether through clear appropriation or distorted likenesses made with the purpose of satirizing its subjects, cartoon-like graphics are a visual language adopted by artists across the globe. Karen Finley renders a postmodern version of Pooh, riddled with contemporary questions about identity. Yoshitomo Nara’s evil-eyed, malevolent children and kamikaze puppies make reference to Japan’s role in World War II while explicitly defying our expectations of childhood innocence. Kerry James Marshall leads a group of African American artists who have adopted comic book language to revise their history. Artists are using cartoon imagery to address controversial, even politically incorrect issues that are difficult to assimilate into mainstream art galleries and museums through realistic depictions. Through comic book imagery, they can move beyond reality, shaping heroines, superheros, and even worlds for current and future escapism.
At first sight, it appears brand new, pure Tokyo pop. But The Japanese Experience: Inevitable reveals far more than the successful cloning of morphed manga motifs onto stretched canvas and museum walls. It represents eight positions in contemporary Japanese art and scrutinizes their complex visual vocabulary, noting references to Japanese and Western art traditions as frequently as the borrowing of mass culture motifs from the realms of manga and anime. Takashi Murakami’s MR. DOB questions the place of contemporary art in our global society; Aya Takano’s glowing watercolors combine Japanese sensitivity, issues of female identity, and sci-fi; Masahiko Kuwahara’s mutant animals provide shades of softness and mysterious openness, and Yoshitomo Nara’s reworking of historical Japanese woodcuts disturbs the floating world. Not only are the artists’ visual repertoires new and surprising, but their creative methods and strategies help conquer a public that is mostly untouched by contemporary art. Published in association with the Ursula Blickle Foundation.
Geared toward garage kits, character figures, subculture figures, limited editions, and extreme figures by master creators, this book satisfies the appetite of the figure aficionado with a continuous stream of figures and vast and comprehensive selection. Full Vinyl covers mass–produced popular favorites (such as Homies), sub–culture figures, Anime–inspired figures (such as Bome), category–defining “thingies”, Hong Kong luminaries (such as Eric So and Michael Lau), figures based on the work of hugely popular artists (such as Gary Baseman or Yoshitomo Nara), and artists that take figure making to the next level (such as Shinichi Yamashita). This volume includes interviews with selected creators, and discussions on topics including aesthetics and the significance of the work for an older audience of collectors. The catalog will include captioning for each figure, including licensing and distribution information.
From John Currin’s old-master-style Playboy bunnies to Elizabeth Peyton’s fin-de-si cle portraits; from Julie Mehretu’s dizzying, multilayered architectural landscapes to Shahzia Sikander’s multipatterned miniature ones; from Yoshitomo Nara’s angry and enigmatic little girls to Kara Walker’s stereotypical negresses; and from Barry McGee’s caricatures of urban graffiti to Matthew Ritchie’s cosmological diagrams–drawing is back, if it ever went away. In contrast to the digitized, multimedia direction that much of contemporary art has taken in the past decade, drawing has become a major and arguably parallel mode of expression for many of today’s most important young artists. Drawing Now, published to accompany the first major survey of contemporary drawings at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 15 years, contains more than 100 color reproductions of work by 26 international artists, both well-known and emerging, that demonstrate the fascinating variety of methods and approaches, mediums and scales, apparent in this old-again, new-again art. Accompanying essays by the exhibition’s curator, Laura Hoptman, explore eight themes that she perceives in the field–Drafting & Architecture, Mental Maps & Metaphysics, Popular Culture & National Culture, Fashion, Likeness & Allegory, Envisioning a City, Science & Art, Comics & Other Subcultures, Ornament & Crime–and provide key impulses behind drawing’s recent resurgence.
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