Born 1959 Aomori Prefecture, Japan
Lives and works in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan
Yoshitomo Nara is well known for his cartoon-like drawings, paintings and sculptures of children and animals sporting adult expressions, provocative stances and salty vocabularies. visual vocabulary is steeped in popular culture. Mass produced toys, television, film, pop music, Disney, computer games, manga and animee are all points of reference for his work.As well as having the spontaneous feel of classroom doodles, his work references children’s publications and the deep psychological questions they raise.
Nara has also collaborated with Japanese-based furniture and design team graf a creative unit that examines structures for living. By combining their creative efforts, Nara and graf aim to develop the relationship between an individual, the space they inhabit and the objects within their surroundings.
For Mayfair Studio a wooden structure in the form of a studio has been built in the gallery using reclaimed wood. Inside this structure, drawings have been pinned to the walls. Also included are traces of the artist-at-work in the form of used pencils, drinks and other paraphernalia. By choosing to work with graf, Nara has departed from the conventional method of displaying works on a traditional white wall. Instead, by exhibiting his work on the wall of a hut that is in no way a white cube, Nara has revived a form of narrative in art and heightened the relationship between art and its environment – elements that have been slowly eroded by modernism over the years.