Yoshitomo Nara

Yoshitomo Nara

Yoshitomo Nara. He is one of the most popular and influential contemporary artists in Japan.

He was born in Hirosaki in 1959, he graduated in Fine Arts from Aichi University in 1985, getting a master's degree from Aichi University in 1987. Between 1988 and 1993, he studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.

Nara was educated after the Second World War and like many of his generation he takes refuge behind this naïve aesthetic; Japanese culture is steeped in loveliness, from the attitudes and proportions of anime and manga to the emphasis placed on certain personality characteristics, such as innocence and helplessness: Kirby, Picachu, Totoro, Care Bears and Hello Kitty are some examples.

Nara's style: simple lines and two-dimensional characters. Childish characters and cute animals with a dark and mischievous twist. Nara has dabbled in drawing, painting, sculpture and installation. His inspiration is tied to his teenage experiences and his taste for rock and punk. The meaning behind his work is deeply linked to his interest in music, isolation and rebellion. The colors accompany this apparent placidity because Nara's palette is predominantly pastel. His works would be reminiscent of early childhood if it weren't for the fact that girls or animals often look irritated and accusing eyes. Children with their huge heads, their little Japanese comic eyes are far from innocent.

From the adult world, childhood is the closest thing to an idyllic moment in which everything is rosy. However, childhood according to Nara seems something quite different, his inquisitive, intense, apparently innocent and angelic looks hide sinister messages of rebellion as well as feelings of rage, helplessness and isolation towards a hyper-connected society to the network.