Mr., ‘As It Was That Day’, 2016, Lehmann Maupin

About Mr.

A graduate of the Department of Fine Arts, Sokei Art School, Mr. creates work that studies and partakes in otaku, the Japanese "cute" subculture marked by an obsession with adolescence, manga, anime, video games, and more. Like his fellow "Superflat" artists, Mr. approaches the visual language of anime and manga as a means of examining Japanese culture at large, fusing high and low forms of contemporary expression. In past work, Mr. has played with the hypersexualized portrayal of young women prevalent in otaku. Known in Japan as “lolicon,” a portmanteau of “Lolita Complex,” this term has come to refer to the otaku preference for explicitly fictional young girls. In the years since the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear reactor meltdown in Tohoku, Japan, Mr. has begun to move away from the cute characters, bright colors, and clean finishes characteristic of his work, and has gravitated toward a gritty and abstract painting style, reminiscent of his early work inspired by Arte Povera, through which he explores themes of destruction.

— Submitted by Lehmann Maupin

Japanese, b. 1969

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