Japanese artist known as Mr., a member of Takashi Murakami’s Kaikai Kiki collective, earned worldwide attention by directing the music video for Pharrell Williams’ “It Girl”. His vibrant, Pop Art-inspired paintings of Anime characters and graffiti elements have been likened to “the display in one’s dirty bedroom.” On November 22nd, Seattle Museum of Art’s Asian Art Museum will present his first major museum retrospective in the United States. As a full retrospective of Mr.’s career, the exhibit will include his early paintings and drawings, and film work, to a new series of paintings created for the show. Also on display will be his “Give Me Your Wings” a complex and chaotic installation sculpture previously exhibited in 2012 at Lehmann Maupin Gallery. Although overwhelmingly colorful and happy-looking imagery, Mr.’s latest work represents psychologically unsettling events. For example, his installation takes viewers to a disaster scenario that recalls the 2011 Tohoku Tsunami debris. This ties into Mr.’s ongoing exploration of Japanese “cute” culture, where technology, manga, Anime, and video games are an escape from nightmarish reality.
“Live On: Mr’s Japanese Neo-Pop” exhibits November 21th, 2014 through April 5th, 2015 at Seattle Museum of Art’s Asian Art Museum.
Mr. in His Studio. Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli; Artwork ©Mr./Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.