It is in Keiichi Tanaami’s personality to take even the darkest of his life’s experiences and turn them into positive expressions. The Psychedelic Japanese artist’s sensational paintings of crazy characters engaged in the chaos of war has made him a leading art figure not just in Japan, but all over the world. We recently featured Tanaami’s intensely visual work in Hi-Fructose Vol. 38, where he shared with us the origins of his art, and the deep effect that his wartime experiences has had on his psyche. In this rare interview, Tanaami tells us more about his dark past and the myriad of international influences on his work to date.
Our next print issue of Hi-Fructose Magazine arrives in stores Jan. 1st, 2016! Featured in this issue is: A glaringly awesome cover by Japanese art icon Keiichi Tanaami. Tanaami’s history and story is amazing, and the result of which is a unique eye-splitting body of work we’re happy to bring to you in print. Plus Riikka Hyvönen’s “Derby Kisses”, Tip Toland’s meaningful hyper-real sculptures, Yellena James’ beautiful painted floral explosions, Mark Ryden’s latest show Dodecahedron, and the mighty ink pen of Kim Jung Gi. We follow this with extensive features on Eric White’s paintings of a Hollywood-gone-bizarro, Chris Mars’ frighteningly beautiful world, Yoshitoshi Kanemaki’s amazing multi-expressional sculptures, and painter Margaret Bowland’s immersive work about power and identity. Also in this issue, punk rock historian and RE/Search founder V.Vale delves into the new photography book Shot in the Dark: Collected Photography by David Arnoff, plus much more! Pre-order copies direct from us here!
Japanese pop artist Keiichi Tanaami (previously covered here) has a new exhibition on view at Tokyo’s underground gallery, Nanzuka. “Cherry Blossoms Falling in the Evening Gloom” is named after his show’s titular piece, an effort to take the darkest of his personal experiences and turn them into a positive image. The 3-meter painting leads into a transformation in the artist’s motifs, known for his glowing, grotesque creatures, which are shown emitting light.
Relatively new to New York’s Chelsea gallery scene, B2OA recently debuted the highly saturated and frenetic paintings of Kazuki Umezawa. His exhibition “Empty god CORE” which opened last Thursday evening, was notably the multi-disciplinary artist’s first in the United States. His large scale paintings may look digitally Photoshopped, however they are hand painted and intensely planned collages- Umezawa’s reimaginings of modern day Japan, created by intricately cut and carefully placed paper images, combined with original drawings.
Japanese Pop artist Keiichi Tanaami has rarely seen artwork now on view at New York contemporary art gallery Sikkema Jenkins & Co. When we covered his 2013 solo exhibition at Mizuma Gallery, his art went through a turning point. His fascination with life after a near-death experience inspired him to look to the future, rather than the past. The artwork in this show is not new- but Tanaami’s mixture of motifs from the past inspires modern questions that keeps his art relevant.