Tag Archives: artist

100th birthday of Taro Okamoto

26 Feb

Do you know who 岡本太郎 (Taro Okamoto) was?

Taro Okamoto,
26 Feb 1911 - 7 Jan 1996

He was a Japanese abstract artist and sculptor.
He is quite famous in Japan.
His most well-know piece is probably the huge sculpture that he made for the “World Expo ’70” in Osaka titled 「太陽の塔」 (“Tower Of The Sun“). It still stands at the site of the expo in Osaka.

「太陽の塔」 ("Tower Of The Sun") by Taro Okamoto

I haven’t been to the “Taro Okamoto Museum” but I have seen three of his pieces many times…because these three pieces are displayed in public here in Tokyo.

These are the 「若い時計台」 (“Young Clock Tower“) in Ginza, Tokyo:

「若い時計台」 ("Young Clock Tower") by Taro Okamoto

The 「子供の木」 (“Children’s Tree“) which stands in front of the 「子供の城」 (“Children’s Castle“), which is a fun, educational activity-center for young children in Tokyo. I took my children to this place a few times when they were young and I saw this sculpture in front of the building.
I knew immediately that it was by Taro Okamoto because it matched his distinctive style.

 

「子供の木」 ("Children's Tree") by Taro Okamoto

And I’ve also seen his painting titled 「明日の神話」 (“Tomorrow’s Myth“). This painting is Mr. Okamoto’s depiction of the atomic bombing of Japan in World War II.
This painting had been in Mexico for about thirty years and was only returned to Japan a little over two years ago.
It’s now on display inside 渋谷駅 (Shibuya Train Station) in Tokyo.

 

「明日の神話」 ("Tomorrow's Myth") by Taro Okamoto

Well, if 岡本太郎 (Taro Okamoto) was still alive he would be 100 years old today.

I learned that today is the 100th anniversary of his birth when I accessed the Google search engine earlier today and noticed that the logo looked like Mr. Okamoto’s artwork.

Google's logo to commemorate Taro Okamoto's 100th birthday.

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Victor Stabin interview

12 Nov

Have you read the interviews I did with a number of interesting people?
They’re on the “Interviews” page of my main website (Click here to visit it).

Well, I just added an interview that I did with Victor Stabin to that page.

Do you know who Victor Stabin is?

He’s the artist who designed the album cover for KISS‘s 1980 release titled “Unmasked“.

stabin-kiss

His artwork is very fascinating.

stabin-turtles

stabin-stamp

I have not listened to KISSUnmasked” since Jesus was in diapers.

Victor Stabin

Victor Stabin’s interview with me is very interesting…Check it out.

My “Interviews” page: Click here
My interview with Victor Stabin: Click here.

Another Michael Doret interview

18 Aug

In my previous post, I wrote about the new KISS album that will be released in the U.S. on October 6.

sonic-logo

According to KISS Online, their upcoming album (titled “Sonic Boom) will be released in the U.S. on October 6…and available exclusively at Wal-Mart.
What does that mean? Regular record stores in the U.S. aren’t going to sell it? It’ll only be sold at one chain of stores?
I’ve never heard of something like that before. Has that become common in America? Why?

In Japan, record stores are still common. I’m sure the new KISS album will be available in every record (CD) store across Japan once it’s released here.
Speaking of which, I wonder when the album will be released in Japan? And when KISS will bring the Sonic Boom Tour to Japan.

Anyways, the album cover artwork for “Sonic Boom” was designed by Michael Doret.

KISS "Sonic Boom" album cover

KISS "Sonic Boom" album cover

Michael Doret designed the iconic cover for the KISS album “Rock And Roll Over” back in 1976 and he was asked by Paul Stanley to design their new album cover, too.

KISS "Rock And Roll Over" album cover (1976)

KISS "Rock And Roll Over" album cover (1976)

Last April, Michael Doret did an interview with me (Click here)…

and today he did another interview with me!

Click here to read it.

I would describe my design for “Sonic Boom” as “Rock and Roll Over” turned inside out.

— Michael Doret

ジミー・ミリキタニ

1 Apr

About three years ago my wife and I went to the Tokyo screening of the movie 「ミリキタニの猫」 (“The Cats Of Mirikitani“).

mirikitani

The movie is a documentary by Linda Hattendorf about ジミー・ツトム・ミ力谷 (Jimmy Tsutomu Mirikitani).

mirikitani-jimmy

In the beginning of the documentary, Linda Hattendorf simply films and interviews a homeless Japanese artist who lives on the street near her apartment in New York City selling his artwork (many of which features cats).

But then the “September 11th” attacks on the World Trade Center happen and Linda sees the artist, Jimmy Mirikitani, still on the street breathing the toxic dust in the air from the fallen towers…so she invites him into her apartment. And that’s when they change each other’s lives.

She discovers that he was born in California (and therefore was an American citizen) and raised in 広島 (Hiroshima, Japan).

When he was a young man, he moved back to America to pursue his dream to become an artist. But when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, he was put in an internment camp and lost his U.S. citizenship.

A chain of events led to him becoming homeless and stateless. But with Linda’s help, he reacquired his American citizenship, located long-lost relatives, paid a visit to the internment camp that had caused him to resent the U.S. government (but revisiting it helped him to overcome the anger), and also visit his hometown in 広島 (Hiroshima, Japan).

She also helped him get an apartment of his own and a job teaching art.

It’s a touching story. You can read about it in more detail on the official website (Click here for the English version…or click here for the 日本語 (Japanese) version.)

The reason I’m writing a blog post about this story after it’s been three years since I watched the documentary is because I just found out there is a show of phots of  ジミー・ツトム・ミ力谷 (Jimmy Tsutomu Mirikitani) and a new painting by him at a vegetarian restaurant in 渋谷 (Shibuya, Tokyo) called Nagishokudo from March 29 until April 18, 2009.

If you’re in Tokyo, you should go see it if you have a chance (especially if you like vegetarian food since restaurants like that are fairly uncommon in Japan. (As for me, I’m definately not a vegetarian so I don’t think I’ll be going there for the art show)).