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.
French artist Renaud Delorme’s portraits lie somewhere between Pop Art, computer graphics and recycling. His mosaic-like images are made using an array of unconventional materials and found objects that he collects; everything from fabric, bottle caps, shampoo bottles, computer chips, film reels, and even tennis balls are all clustered together to recreate the intricacies of his subjects’ likeness. In the tradition of Pop artists like Andy Warhol, Delorme’s favorite subjects are classic and modern day celebrities from Marylin Monroe to supermodel Kate Moss, though it’s not their fame that concerns him the most.
First covered on our blog, Dex Fernandez injects a dizzying and chaotic energy into his eclectic collage portraits. He will debut them in New York tomorrow at Owen James Gallery in a colorful installation that also includes animation. Many of the pieces in the show were created over the past few months, during an artist residency in the United States by the Asian Arts Council. To enhance the digital photographs that Fernandez has used as his canvas, he incorporates details such as neon-colored embroidery and paints. These create a frenzied, but seamless pattern strung throughout each piece, which continues onto the gallery wall with cut-paper shapes.
Yoshimitsu Umekawa’s photographs look like pictures of a pop-colored apocalypse. The forms in his images appear vibrant and swirling at first, but then evoke an underlying darkness. In the studio, Umekawa’s process is similar to another photographer, Kim Keever, creating images inside of a fish tank and then coloring them digitally. His ‘clouds’ come in a variety of colors and iterations, and he has photographed 100 of them so far. He calls them “Incarnations”- visible parts of his experience as a young person living in Tokyo, with a nod to Japan’s past which is no stranger to catastrophe.
If you’re looking for some DIY Halloween decoration ideas, look no further. London based illustrator Kerry Hughes’s latest series features intricately hand-tied balloons made into the shapes of human organs. “It’s very inspiring when a person can take an unexpected or everyday material and completely rethink it,” Hughes says. The artist is mostly known for her colorful and playful work using paper and wood, but her series “Pneumatic Anatomy” in collaboration with friend and photographer Aaron Tilley takes it to a conceptual level.
Manila, Phillipines based artist Dex Fernandez creates works that range from street art murals, animation, painting and drawing to photography. Using a variety of media, his ongoing series of eclectic collage portraits combines almost all of his interests. Fernandez’s inspirations are equally diverse. His series juxtaposes good and evil, beauty and ugliness by mixing pop art, religious iconography, and vintage images from posters and magazines that he finds in thrift shops.