Takashi Murakami’s Zingaro Space in Nakano is in the heart of Neo-Tokyo subculture, a holy land for comics fans, toy collectors, and cosplay. This is where you will find award-winning artist Saeborg’s (pronounced Cyborg) kinky “rubber farm” that brings all of these things together. His installation of animals and their “Lil’ Big Bo Peep” are inspired by kigurumi, Japanese costumed performers who represent cartoon characters.
The materials of Atsuko Goto’s otherworldy paintings are as intriguing as her subject matter. Her pigments are made from semi-precious Lapis-lazuli and gum arabic, which helps her create her hazy, subdued palette. While decidedly dark, there is a softness in her portrayal of ethereal beauties, loosely based on Izanami-no-Mikoto or the goddess of creation and death.
The Amazons of Dahomey were an all-female military regiment founded in the 16th century in the Kingdom of Dahomey (present-day Republic of Benin). By the end of the 19th century, they comprised a third of the nation’s army and were thought to be more valuable on the battle field than their male counterparts. French artist YZ, whose portrait-based work frequently taps into civil rights themes, recently paid homage to these female warriors with her public art series in Senegal, “Amazon.” Painted on the sides of houses in a Senegalese village, the monochromatic portraits symbolize a story of female strength often left untold.
Yu Suda’s ink paintings evoke the iconic style of Japan’s Edo period, but his subject matter is a bizarre mix of anachronistic and contemporary imagery. His hyperactive work displays a thirst for action and adventure and a bizarre sense of humor. In one piece, a young man rides on the back of a horse-faced person on a skateboard. In another, a protagonist blasts away on an anthropomorphic, cloud-motorcycle hybrid with a goofy grin. Suda’s solo show “There Is Something Wrong with Yu Suda” opens at Hellion Gallery in Portland on February 5.
Ignacio Canales Aracil presses flowers using voluminous molds that shape them into fragile vessels with a colorful, lace-like surface. Even as the seasons change, his process preserves the essence of spring. With their full forms intact, the flowers have a liveliness to them, even as they transform into these manmade shapes. Canales Aracil recently exhibited at Museo Sorolla in Madrid and currently is part of a group show on view through February 28 at Galeria Lucia Mendoza in the Spanish capital, as well.
The colorful works of Hawaii native Ekundayo (HF Vol. 9) combine surrealism with influences from his graffiti days. His paintings sometimes lean on the nightmarish, as in his portrayal of anthropomorphic subjects in haunting scenes. On Saturday, he will debut a new series with “Collective Reflections” at Thinkspace gallery in Los Angeles. Ekundayo describes his solo as a “gift to that feeling I know we all connect to when reaching deep within ourselves.” Check out our preview after the jump!