In town for the opening of his eponymous solo show at MARIANNE BOESKY GALLERY, Japan’s YOSHITOMO NARA just couldn’t help himself in the Subway at Union Station when the graffiti urge overtook him. Unfortunately, New York’s “Finest” don’t exactly see drawings as “art” when they’re on walls instead of paper and the delicate art star spent two days in the slammer. Ouch:
POP ARTIST YOSHITOMO NARA ARRESTED FOR GRAFFITI IN NEW YORK
March 10, Japan Today
Yoshitomo Nara, a contemporary Japanese pop artist known for sculptures and paintings of doe-eyed figures, was arrested in late February for tagging graffiti in the Union Square subway station, a New York Police Department official said Monday.
Nara was arrested at 3:10 a.m. on Feb 27 and charged with criminal mischief, possession of graffiti instruments, making graffiti and resisting arrest, detective Martin Speechley told Kyodo News in a phone interview. An official at a New York art gallery where Nara’s exhibits are currently on display said the artist has already been released.
Nara, 49, who lives and works in Tochigi Prefecture, was in New York for a solo exhibition of his work at the Marianne Boesky Gallery that runs Feb 28 through March 28. The online edition of Art in America magazine said Nara was caught tagging a graffiti portrait of two Japanese friends in the subway station and he was optimistic about his two days in lockup.
It was ‘‘a nice experience in my life,’’ the artist was quoted as saying. He said the environment in which he found himself was like something in the movies. Nara emerged on the art scene during Japan’s pop art movement in the 1990s and has held solo exhibitions worldwide. His works are on display at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Click HERE to read more…
Japanese art sensation (he’s bigger than Murakami in his native land) YOSHITOMO NARA brought some much-needed heat to NYC last week with his eponymous new show of paintings, drawings and large-scale constructions at MARIANNE BOESKY GALLERY. Forming the centerpiece of the exhibition is a pair of large “Smurf houses” that double as mini art studios that were executed in conjunction with installation artists GRAF, who, together with Nara form the collective YNG (Yoshitomo Nara + Graf). Constructed from reclaimed wood, the forms of the two immense sculptures recall stylized tannenbaums, with their roof shingling evoking exaggerated tree needles. Small cutout windows and hanging lights punctuate the sculptures, providing them with the feel of a house or some surreal abode. The structures are hollow and present interiors replete with drawings and paintings all created in the artist's hand, and with a multitude of stuffed animals from fans selected by the artist. Though Nara has previously exhibited these types of moveable spaces before, the dwellings in this exhibition have a quieted sentiment to them. Each object within feels carefully considered in its placement. The frenzy of personal effects including photographs, CDs and beer cans, all evoking the turmoil and inspiration in the artist studio, has been removed. Instead the stillness of the structures, with their looming spires, presents a protective shell to the interiors. Though possible to peer into the structures and glimpse their holdings, they cannot be entered and the viewer must be content to remain on the exterior. The paintings, rendered on both canvas and wooden billboards, depict lone portraits of dreamy-eyed figures. Pencil and colored pencil drawings on found envelopes and discarded papers similarly parse the psychological landscape of their subjects. A dedicated rock fanatic Nara’s opening included live performances by Japanese bands by OORUTAICHI and M.A.G.O., proving that normally stuffy Gotham art openings can indeed rock and or roll. Nara is yet another artist participating in the "Stages" charity art show to benefit LANCE ARMSTRONG's anti-cancer LIVESTRONG foundation during his run in this year's Tour de France. Keep an eye on ST for more details coming soon. Meanwhile, HAVE A LOOK: Read More