Friday, October 8, 2010

A watercolor painting of mine ("Heaven and Hell III") and my first Japanese woodblock print("Blue Moon") will be on display in an exhibition entitled “SugiPOP!: The Influence of Anime and Manga on Contemporary Art.” The show will open next week at the Portsmouth Museum of Art in Portsmouth, NH.

The show will run from October 13th 2010 – January 16th 2011. It's a collaborative effort, co-curated by Beau Basse of LeBasse Projects in Los Angeles and Katherine Doyle,a wonderful figurative artist and curator of the Portsmouth Museum of Art.

I met Kate and her husband Simon on the beach in Waimanalo, Hawaii in 1985, where I lived at the time, as I apologized profusely for my dog having blissfully booted sand into their beautiful plein air oil paintings. Happy they didn't hold it against me! Anyway, the Sugi-show features the work of approximately thirty artists tracing the origins of manga, the rise of Japanese Contemporary Art, and how the art forms have influenced artists around the world.

Sugi, the Japanese word for ‘too much,’ represents the extreme characteristics of Japanese manga and anime, which have merged with the American phenomenon of Pop, to become SugiPOP – a blend of Japanese and American contemporary art shaped and defined by over-the-top pop.

The exhibition features an international roster of artists including Japanese historic icons Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Kuniyoshi in a display of original Edo period (mid-nineteenth century) ukiyo-e (woodblock) prints, depicting Japan's traditional 'floating world' of beauty and entertainment.

The exhibit also features Japanese Contemporary artists Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo Nara, Yoshitaka Amano, Mr., Ai Yamaguchi, Junko Mizuno and Hisashi Tenmyouya.

International artists contributing to the exhibit include KAWS, Gary Baseman, Simone Legno, Natalia Fabia, Tomokazu Matsuyama, Yumiko Kayukawa, Moira Hahn, Seonna Hong, Hush, Morgan Slade, Edwin Ushiro, Luke Chueh, Andrew Hem, Mike Shinoda, SharkToof, Yoskay Yamamoto and others.

In addition, the exhibition is complemented by original cels from some of the most significant anime ever made, including Cowboy Bebop and Princess Mononoke.

The Portsmouth Museum of Art is located at One Harbour Place in downtown Portsmouth. Admission is free.

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