Yoshitomo Nara

20 Amazing Artist-Inspired Tattoos

[Editor’s note: While your Flavorwire editors take a much-needed holiday break, we’re revisiting some of our most popular features of the year. This post was originally published February 16, 2011.] If we’re being honest, most of us will never own a work of art by a famous artist. And while back in college, it might have been okay to pay homage to one of the greats with a poster print from the museum, these days when it comes to the artwork that hangs on our walls, we tend to opt for original pieces by emerging (read: more affordable) talents. A few enterprising souls have found a way to sidestep the issue completely by displaying famous works of art directly on their bodies. Click through for some of our favorite examples, and if you happen to have an art-inspired tattoo, be sure to tell us about it in the comments. … Read More

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Rare Doodles, Paintings, and Sculptures by Yoshitomo Nara

This month, we had the pleasure of taking a look at a shiny and enormous new catalog of Yoshitomo Nara’s artwork, Yoshitomo Nara: The Complete Works, recently released by Chronicle Books. The gorgeous box set includes two 408-page volumes filled with the much-loved Japanese artist’s sculptures, paintings, doodles, photographs, drawings and mixed media pieces representing the full breadth of his career, as well as essays by Takashi Murakami, Banana Yoshimoto, and Nara himself.

Influenced by Japanese anime, punk rock, Walt Disney, and the culture of post-WWII Japan, Nara’s works are often disarmingly adorable but just a little bit ominous or vicious at the same time (large-eyed children holding knives, for instance), and he is loved by art critics and fans alike. Needless to say, there are many gems in this monster collection, but because much of Nara’s work is so iconic and immediately recognizable, we were most interested in the work that seemed a little more unusual — at least in terms of what we’ve seen before — so his rough doodles, his less-stylized paintings, and his “editions” were the works that most drew our attention. But don’t worry, we couldn’t help picking out some of our favorite traditional-style Nara paintings as well. Click through to get a taste of Yoshitomo Nara: The Complete Works and let us know what you think in the comments. … Read More

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Limited-Edition Beach Towels for Contemporary Art Lovers

When a range of limited-edition towels from the Art Production Fund first debuted at Art Basel Miami back in 2006, everyone was clamoring to get their hands on one of the eye-catching designs. Since then, terry cloth artworks by the likes of Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons, Marilyn Minter, and Alex Katz have all sold out, but lucky for you, new editions have been added to the collection each year, and some of them are still up for grabs. Click through to pick out your favorite (we’re partial to Elizabeth Peyton’s charcoal rendering of Sid Vicious), and remember when you’re eying the rather spendy price tag — proceeds go to support public art projects. … Read More

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Affordable Art from Some of the World’s Most Famous Artists

Ever dreamed of owning your very own Richard Prince? Or your own work of irreverent detritus by a Young British Artist? Dream on. They are for the most part priced astronomically out of reach for most people. On the other hand, if you take your dream down a notch, you can. The YBAs, as well as some other famed artists, have engaged at one time or another in creating unique artist’s editions and regular consumer items within a reasonably-priced range that you can hang on your wall, if you want, or just use and abuse to your heart’s content. Whether created individually or in collaboration with other artists and designers, here is a sampling of some of our favorite artist editions and objects by artists we love, and/or love to hate. … Read More

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Gallery: Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art

When New York’s Japan Society planned its latest art exhibition, Bye Bye Kitty!!!, its goal was to provide an alternative view of a country whose art has long been associated with the overly cute and cartoonish. With this month’s disaster in Japan, the exhibit takes on greater significance, spotlighting a grimmer, more chaotic vision of life in the newly ravaged nation. Subtitled Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art, the show is divided into three sections — “Critical Memory,” “Threatened Nature,” and “Unquiet Dream” — and features a selection of artists who are pushing boundaries in their country’s creative realms.

A number of related programs are taking place in conjunction with the exhibition — which opens today and runs through Sunday, June 12 — and in light of the recent tragedy, Japan Society is now donating 50 percent of all ticket sales through June 30 to aid victims of the devastation. The organization’s Japan Earthquake Relief Fund has already raised over $500,000; you can also contribute directly by making an online donation. After the jump, check out a gallery of images from Bye Bye Kitty!!! and learn more about Japan Society. … Read More

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Daily Dose Pick: Yoshitomo Nara

One of Japan’s most influential neo-pop artists, Yoshitomo Nara uses subjects associated with comics and animation to explore themes of alienation and rebellion.

Inspired by punk rock and manga, Nara draws knife-wielding girls, menacing dogs, and houses in flames to express shared feelings of helplessness and rage. His wide-eyed, devilish characters have infiltrated international pop culture through numerous exhibitions, publications, and consumer products, and have gained Nara cult status among an increasing number of fans. … Read More

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The Best of Art Basel: Paul Laster Surveys the Galleries, Paintings, and Sculpture Worth Seeing

As Venice settles down to a calmer flow of visitors to the Biennale throughout the summer, the art-world caravan has journeyed to Switzerland for the 40th edition of the world’s most prestigious fair, Art Basel. Collectors stormed the booths of their favorite galleries at the preview, making quick acquisitions of high quality modern and contemporary art.

More than 300 international galleries are showing work in a variety of media by more than 2,500 artists. With the exception of the sections of the fair offering emerging art and experimental projects, most dealers have been cautious to bring the best work by known artists — a strategy that is already paying… Read More

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