Hush‘s work seems more like collage than conventional graffiti. Appropiated images are densely layered so that doe-eyed anime girls mix with Grecian sculpture and seemingly random images. Typography also has a strong presence in the form of comic books sound effects, Japanese kanji and calligraphic tags. The result are richly layered works which frame his anime heroines within the larger history of art and popular culture, blurring the lines between the artistic and the pornographic.
Yamamoto Nori‘s illustration combines anime-style characters with traditional Japanese motifs. Swirling clouds of cherry blossoms, and girls in kimono with long dark hair mix alongside school uniforms in surreal and dream-like works. Enjoy.
It’s hard to believe that the immaculate flat surfaces of Lisa Alisa‘s works are really painted. Inspired as much by anime as by the traditional motifs and minimalism of Japanese prints, her work combines old and new beautifully.
The work of Takato Yamamoto is a careful balance between horror and beauty. Yamamoto has a knack for drawing gore beautifully, and bone and flesh is as delicately rendered as his doll-faced characters. Intricately detailed pieces with delicate linework show the influences of Art Nouveau with manga, and Ukiyo-e, Japanese woodblock prints. The result is seductively beautiful gothic works.
The work of Milkbbi aka Justin Wallis is a sweet mixture of naive art with kitsch 90’s imagery. Using a pallette of summer-saturated colors like aqua, watermelon and sunflower; it’s an instant rush of feel-good nostalgia.
The works of Naoshi are like one-scene skits; surreal plays with a deadpan cast of anthropomorphized animals, foods and everyday objects. Naoshi’s distinctive visual style is based on a large part on his use of sunae, shiny and colorful sand which gives his works their bright color palette and soft texture. Naoshi uses sunae to create a beautiful and sparkling world, filled with surreal characters living their everyday lives. Enjoy. Read more…
I was blown away when I recently watched the Daicon IV Opening Animation. Somehow I’d manage to miss this crucial piece of otaku history.
The Daicon III and IV animations were amateur works done for the 1981 and 1983 Nihon SF Taikai conventions. This group of amateur animators would go on to form Gainax, and the Daicon animations show the genesis of imagery that would be repeated in projects like Evangelion and FLCL.
As an animation it’s a testament to the beauty and visual power of traditional cel animation. There’s something timeless about these videos, and incredibly after almost thirty years they can still compete with some of the best animation being produced today. Unfortunately these works have never been officially released, and never will be, so watch it now.
The work of Chikuwaemil is an explosion of color; a hypnotic and chaotic mess of cute girls, scribbled cats and miscellaneous doodles. It’s a mix of raw energy and naïve imagery, in sweet candy colors. It also features a lot of the teal-haired idol, Hatsune Miku, being drawn in Chikuwaemil’s distinctive style. Enjoy.
The style of Japanese illustrator HIME+YOU is a sweet mixture of bright colors and cute, and slightly darker imagery. While I can see Junko Mizuno’s psychedelic influence, this is work that stands on its own. Absolutely adorable.
In my previous post I introduced the work of Kozyndan, a talented couple that work together on art and illustration. While that post featured some of their more colorful and humorous work, there’s another, more serious, to these artists. Their recent exhibition Washed Away at Outré Gallery, focused on the themes of the sea and sea-life, as well as Japan’s ama, women divers famous for collecting pearls. Kozyndan were also inspired by Hokusai’s iconic wave, and these works hint at the power and violence of the sea. The result are images that are beautiful, mysterious and poetic. Read more…