Yoshitomo Nara (b. 1959, Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan) graduated from Aichi University of the Arts with a master’s degree in 1987, completing further studies at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. He resided in Cologne until 2000, when he returned to Japan. Since the mid-1990s, Nara has exhibited around the world and has worked with a range of institutions, from small independent art spaces to internationally renowned galleries and museums.
For Nara, the type of institution or the size of a space matters less than how connected he feels with its environment. His approach to art is also similarly dependent on his sense of connection with its making. His paintings are expressions of color that breathe life into his bold images, his sculptures bear traces of his fingers that have shaped their forms, and his drawings capture the spontaneity of his daily thoughts. Nara has also exhibited his photographic works, which depict his life and travels.
A Contemporary artist best known for his Neo-Pop paintings featuring the innocent motifs and buoyant style of children’s books and comics. Nara’s most frequent subjects are wide-eyed, cartoonish children and animals, executed in a flattened, economical style. Often, snippets of Japanese, English, or German text float within the compositions. Nara is also a prolific sculptor and draughtsman. He has had solo exhibitions at Blum & Poe in Santa Monica, CA; Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, IL; Pace Prints in New York, NY; the Asia Society Museum in New York, NY; and many other institutions. Nara currently lives and works in Japan and Germany, and is represented by Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York, and by Blum & Poe in Los Angeles.
INSPIRATIONAL ART INTERVIEWS
As an accomplished artist in Syria before the war, Mr. Bukai had long thought his photographic memory was his greatest asset, allowing him to recreate scenes on his sketch pads and canvases days, months and even years after he witnessed them. But now, after he has survived two stretches in the Syrian government’s notorious detention centers, his sharp memories only serve to haunt him.
One day recently, home with his family in Fontenay-le-Comte, a sleepy city in the Loire valley, he methodically opened boxes containing dozens of drawings he has made of the images burned into his brain. It is the only way he knows of coping with the traumas he witnessed, and suffered, in Syria’s torture chambers.
In one, men wearing only their underwear carry a corpse in what looks like a sheet or blanket, for eventual disposal, Mr. Bukai says, in the back of a truck in a pile of other bodies. He recalls a number, 5535, on the young man’s chest. They had been ordered to strip to their underwear, Mr. Bukai explained, so they could be easily spotted if they tried to escape.
“Art saved me,” he said, while laying the drawings out on a tabletop.
FEATURED ART DOCUMENTARY
Jean Michel Basquiat The Radiant Child
A thoughtful portrait of a renowned artist, this documentary shines the spotlight on New York City painter Jean-Michel Basquiat. Featuring extensive interviews conducted by Basquiat's friend, filmmaker Tamra Davis, the production reveals how he dealt with being a dark artist in a predominantly white field.
The film also explores Basquiat's rise in the art world, which led to a close relationship with Andy Warhol, and looks at how the young painter coped with acclaim, scrutiny and fame.
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THIS MONTHS FEATURED MUSEUM
The Louvre was originally built as a fortress in 1190, but was reconstructed in the 16th century to serve as a royal palace. It continued to be expanded over the years. It currently covers a total area of 652,300 square feet (60,600 square meters). In 1793, Louis XIV moved the royal residence to Versailles, and the Louvre became an art museum, exhibiting the royal collection and artifacts. Under Napoleon's reign, acquisitions came from conquered lands and the museum was known as Musée Napoleon. After his defeat at Waterloo, the museum returned to its original name.
The Louvre’s collection includes Egyptian antiques, ancient Greek and Roman sculptures, paintings by the Old Masters, and crown jewels and other artifacts from French nobles. Its works span the sixth century B.C. to the 19th century A.D. More than 35,000 works are on display at any given time. The displays are divided into eight departments: Near Eastern Antiquities, Egyptian Antiquities, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Islamic Art, Sculptures, Decorative Arts, Paintings, and Prints and Drawings.
Sharpening And Learning New Skills Is Vital For Success
The secret to success in any venture is to never stop learning. Whether a person has earned an advanced degree or is just beginning a new career, it’s always a good idea to continuously be learning new skills.
It’s especially important to sharpen and learn skills that are capable of being transferred from one type of career to another. This ensures that a person will always be marketable in an increasingly competitive working environment. If you are currently considering going back to school to learn some new skills, the following information will help you get started on making a decision that will benefit your career:
Jimmy Margulies is an award winning nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist distributed by King Features. His cartoons on New York City issues appear regularly in amNew York and his cartoons on New Jersey issues appear in newspapers all over the Garden State.
After 22 years at editorial cartoonist at The Record in northern New Jersey, he continues to produce a cartoon every Sunday for The Record.
Among his national awards are The Berryman Award from The National Press Foundation, The National Headliner Award, The Fischetti Editorial Cartoon Competition, and four Clarion Awards from The Association for Women in Communications.
The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Time, Newsweek and Businessweek are among the many places his cartoons have appeared. He has been featured on CNN, ABC Nightline, PBS, and C-Span.
Prior to working at The Record, he was the Editorial Cartoonist for The Houston Post as well as for Journal Newspapers of Maryland and Virginia. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Carnegie Mellon University, and is proud to be on the National Rifle Association blacklist.
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ARTISTS AROUND THE GLOBE