May 13, 2013  |  art

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Iconic Japanese Pop artist and hardcore punk rocker Yoshitomo Nara took advantage of Frieze week when he opened his first show at the esteemed Pace Gallery in NYC last Friday. A hardcore disciple of the cult of Margaret Keane and the Japanese world of kawaii (all things impossibly"cute") the real magic of Nara's deceptively simple giant-eyed kids is in the minimalism with which they convey their deeper emotions of anger, annoyance, melancholy, and defiance. This new collection of work showcases the 53-year-old artist at the peak of his form with a series of paintings in contrasting "superflat" (to borrow a term) and much more deeply rendered classical styles along with a gorgeous array of mostly large-scale rough-hewn bronze sculptures that bear the obvious marks of their maker's hand (in stark contrast to his usual ultra-slick fiberglass sculptures). In all, it's a true show of subtle force by the artist forever lurking in the shadow of Japan's Warhol (aka: Takashi Murakami), but whose work often says twice as much with less than half the effort.

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Screen Shot 2013-05-11 at 8.46.11 PMNara relaxes with his girls


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