Artist Takashi Murakami is arguably the biggest Japanese contemporary artist in the world. In less than two decades he’s established a massive footprint in the global art scene. His latest show of new work at the Gagosian Gallery in New York is titled “In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow” and it marks a slight axis shift in the artist’s work.
Compared to much of the work he created in the late 1990s and early 2000s, “In the Land …” has less of the pristine, clinical and fantastical perfectionism of the sci-fi anime-inspired sculptures and kawaii characters of the artist’s “super flat”period. I
nstead Murakami’s new work is more complex and draws on more obvious, formal strands of Japanese classical arts and traditional symbolism. And it’s messy within bounds. It feels like barely contained seething chaos. It’s way more massive, more epic in scale. It’s stunning.
This framed image of pop superstar Lady Gaga pictured below is one of many such celebrity portraits by the accomplished photographer Martin Schoeller currently on view at the Hasted Kraeutler gallery in New York. (To the left of Gaga is portrait of artist Jeff Koons and on her right is one of actor-comedian Zach Galifinakis.)
This street-art mural of giant lips on a storefront roller-gate on Grand Street in New York’s Chinatown looks like a work in progress, but it may actually be the finished work. In any case, it’s rad and we like the use of dollar signs for each “S” in the word “Ki$$.”
The graffiti and street artist Moody is currently is exhibiting at the Woodward Gallery’s Project Space on Eldridge Street in New York’s Lower East Side. The triptych artwork is a parody and hijack of Coca-Cola’s iconic brand logotype and seasonal advertising style.
We recently visited the Canada Gallery in the Lower East Side to check out artist Lily Ludlow’s show titled “Pereidolia.” The exhibition includes a collection of her recent abstract paintings and an installation piece made of long strung-out tree branches that fill an entire gallery. Good stuff.
Fresh street art by artist Calen Blake on the old Bowery Bank building, a.k.a., the Jay Maisel Building, at the corner of Bowery and Spring streets in New York’s Lower East Side. This wheat-paste artwork is yet another portrait of a woman with an intriguing body of hair — it’s a densely packed school of small fish.
Eventually every favorite old shirt reaches a point of wear and tear that signals it’s time to throw it out. Such was this case this past week with this light pink “Pop Classics” t-shirt by Swedish clothing brand Acne Studios, pictured below. We had been wearing the tee regularly ever since we purchased it at the Opening Ceremony store in Los Angeles 4 1/2 years ago. The shirt had finally developed one hole too many.
We’re big fans of Acne’s clothing and we’re sad to see this shirt go as it was the most comfortable, well-fitting and perfectly designed t-shirt we’ve owned. That says a lot given that the t-shirt, as global wardrobe staple and ubiquitous fashion commodity, is one of the most mass-produced items on the planet. One would think it would by now be difficult to improve upon. But this t-shirt had.
On our recent visit back to Tokyo, we picked up a bag of freshly-roasted espresso beans from Bear Pond Espresso at their cafe at On the Corner in Shibuya. We love the totally unbranded, shiny, silvery bag — it’s only markings are the roasting batch and date numbers.