One of Japan’s most influential neo-pop artists, Yoshitomo Nara uses subjects associated with comics and animation to explore themes of alienation and rebellion.
Inspired by punk rock and manga, Nara draws knife-wielding girls, menacing dogs, and houses in flames to express shared feelings of helplessness and rage. His wide-eyed, devilish characters have infiltrated international pop culture through numerous exhibitions, publications, and consumer products, and have gained Nara cult status among an increasing number of fans.
Click through for images and a video interview from the Asia Society show.
Yoshitomo Nara, Oh! My God! I Miss You, 2001, Synthetic polymer paint and pencil on printed paper, 20 x 14 1/4 in. (50.8 x 36.2 cm), The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Purchase, 2004, Digital image © The Museum of Modern Art / Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY.
Yoshitomo Nara, White Riot, 1995, Acrylic on cotton, 39 3/8 x 47 1/4 in. (100 x 120 cm), Aomori Museum of Art, 2597, Image courtesy of the artist.
Yoshitomo Nara, Pyromaniac Day and Pyromaniac Dead of Night, 1999, Acrylic on canvas, Each 47 1/4 x 43 5/16 in. (120 x 110 cm), Collection of Lyor Cohen.
Yoshitomo Nara, Hyper Enough (to the City), 1997, Acrylic on canvas, 49 x 59 in. (125 x 150 cm), Rubell Family Collection, Miami.
Yoshitomo Nara, The Girl with the Knife in Her Hand, 1991, Acrylic on cotton,59 1/16 x 55 1/8 in. (150 x 140 cm), Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan, fractional and promised gift to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Yoshitomo Nara, Untitled (1, 2, 3, 4 Man), 2008, Colored pencil on envelope, 14 1/2 x 9 in. (36.8 x 22.9 cm), Gervais Pappendick Collection, Boston
Yoshitomo Nara, Remember Me, 2005, Acrylic on paper, 55 x 55 1/2 in. (139.7 x 141 cm), Private collection, New York, Image courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery
Yoshitomo Nara, Nobody’s Fool, 1998, Acrylic, ink and colored pencil on printed paper, 13 3/4 x 10 1/8 in. (34.9 x 25.7 cm), Collection of Peter Norton, Image courtesy of the artist.
Yoshitomo Nara, Too Young to Die, 2001, Acrylic on cotton mounted on fiber reinforced plastics, Diam. 70 3/4 in. (180 cm); D. 10 1/2 in. (26.7 cm), Rubell Family Collection, Miami, Image courtesy of the artist.