art

SDCC x GR 1729 Exclusive 3 – Hone Marilla GID by Mari Inukai

Giant Robot presents: Mari Inukai – who will be a resident at the Giant Robot booth. It doesn’t mean she’ll be there 24-7, but she will spend the majority of her time at SDCC hawking goods, making smiles, and drawing. We’ll have the Hone Marilla GID! $100 and it comes with a small original drawing. It’s displays beautifully. Also, DAILY mini-print releases. We’re working out the editions and details. Stay tuned!

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SuperAwesome Reception

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Earlier in the day was the press preview. I thank them all for coming through. Some of the press is trickling out and some were posted hours later. It was a larger group than regular and their words will hopefully help the exhibition out. From my days of writing, I’d hope that this particular job was at least fun. So many writing jobs aren’t.

The weekend began with the Donor’s Forum. It’s a special thursday opening for the folks who donate dollars to the Museum. It’s when “the elite” of the OMCA come to play. I’m a curator who makes a speech and introduce the attending artists, and then after the words are complete, we get to see the exhibition. Although the idea is to make the donors feel like they’re part of this history-making exhibition, I’m not sure if everyone understood Asian Popular culture, this subset of contemporary art, and why Giant Robot. Yet that’s where the numbers come into play. For those who don’t get it, they love to see successful numbers.

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The following day was the opening night. The member’s opening began at 3pm which on a Friday, began slowly and picked up after 5pm. Families began to show up. Artists brought their parents and some of the museum staff brought their kids who zipped around from the Scion car, to the game stations. I stood outside the doors for a while, since it was cool to take in the friends who I might not see scurrying around from area to area inside. I had to thank everyone I could for showing up and giving us their support. A line formed that stretched up the steps and even further towards the entrance in front of the mural by Andrew Hem. It was an OMCA first.

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Yoshitomo Nara Exhibition – Blum and Poe 3/1/14

Culver City – Yoshitomo Nara’s perhaps 7th or 8th exhibition is an fantastic journey through his career. Giant bronze sculptures show some of his latest art projects. They’re huge, but at the same time, there are plenty of new paintings which are becoming more refined than ever. Nara’s characters eyes are deeper and rich. His new works also include “billboards” which are giant versions of his drawings set up on crate-like pieces of wood. I especially enjoyed seeing the collage of pencil drawings which are also affixed on crates. Upstairs, it’s 30 years of drawings and plenty of them, from 1984 – 2014 with a time line narrative of where he was or what events were happening. You can see the progression of his drawing style. Blum and Poe’s gallery space perfectly houses it all. It’s more of a museum style exhibition and guess what? It really is. As confirmed by Tim Blum himself who told me that it’s traveling.

Also imagine, Tim Blum is the OG Otaku. He spent years in Japan, speaks fluently, and eventually came back to the US and opened a gallery in Santa Monica in the mid 90s. He brought Nara and Takashi Murakami to the US and grew with them. Imagine the sphere of influence by these two artists from style, technique, business acumen, to place in popular culture. Those who were influenced have already influenced another generation of artists.

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GR2: 2/22 – 3/12 Nathan Ota – Scrambled Eggs and a side of Collectables

Feb 22, 2014 – Mar 12th, 2014

Reception Saturday Feb 22st, 2014 6:30-10pm

Giant Robot – Twenty Years 2014 – Presents:

Nathan Ota – Scrambled Eggs and a side of Collectables 

Nathan Ota is a graffiti legend who grew up painting with fellow artists like Risk in Los Angeles in the 80′s. His diligence led him on a successful route of fine art and this exhibition at GR2 will feature smaller original works and a few exciting new products and previews of things to come. His works are vibrant and detailed and his technique is unabashed. Ota attended high school at University High School, local from the gallery and this exhibition will be a sort of a “homecoming”. When he’s not painting, Ota teaches art at both Otis College of Art and Design and at Santa Monica College.

For any additional information about Nathan Ota or anything else, email: [email protected]



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MOCA: 1/31 – 2/2 Giant Robot@LAARTBOOKFAIR

at the Temporary Contemporary Location



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OMCA Celebrates the Art of Giant Robot in New Contemporary Art Exhibition Opening April 19

New Exhibition Coincides With 20th Anniversary of Giant Robot Magazine Celebrating Asian American Pop Culture and Beyond

(PDF Press Release)

Oakland, CA)This spring, the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) presents the major exhibitionSuperAwesome: Art and Giant Robot. On view in OMCA’s Great Hall from April 19 to July 27, 2014, the exhibition features 15 contemporary artists that have been inspired by the artistic sensibility of Giant Robot throughout its 20-year evolution.

Co-curated by Giant Robot visionary Eric Nakamura and OMCA’s Associate Curator of Art & Material Culture Carin Adams, SuperAwesome presents new or recent works by California and international-based artists affiliated with the culture and aesthetic of the popular magazine that brought Asian, trans-Pacific popular culture to mainstream audiences in the United States. Artists featured in the exhibition include: Ako Castuera, Sean Chao, David Choe, Luke Chueh, Hamburger Eyes, Andrew Hem, James Jean, Kozyndan, Masakatsu Sashie, Shizu Saldamando, Rob Sato, Amy Sol, Deth P Sun, and Adrian Tomine. Art works in the exhibition represent a range of mediums, including mural art, sculpture, illustration, portraiture, large-scale installations, graphic novels, photography, and more.

In addition, the exhibition features Giant Robot magazines and ephemera, vinyl toys, custom vending machines, and the original Giant Robot Scion XB. Designed by Eric Nakamura, inspired by Nintendo’s Famicom gaming console, and fabricated by Len Higa, the car-turned-interactive gaming station boasts built-in sound and projectors. Visitors will be able use the car to play the original game Return of the Quack by Chevy Ray Johnston with graphics by Matt Furie.

“SuperAwesome: Art and Giant Robot will emphasize the larger pop cultural context that informed so much of the early days of Giant Robot.” says Carin Adams, OMCA’s Associate Curator of Art & Material Culture. “In addition to recent work, OMCA is excited to present new installations such as a custom mural by David Choe—who painted a mural on the Facebook campus, as well as a large scale outdoor mural in our Oak Street Plaza by Andrew Hem.”

Over the past 20 years, the Giant Robot brand has expanded to include retail stores and galleries in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, a restaurant, museum and gallery exhibitions, and a popular website. It has also become an important outlet for a generation of emerging artists, several of whom have achieved mainstream success—such as Adrian Tomine, whose work has graced many New Yorker covers, and James Jean, whose is best known for his work for Prada, ESPN, and Atlantic Records.

“In SuperAwesome: Art and Giant Robot museum-goers will see that a certain artistic sensibility has remained intact throughout Giant Robot’s evolution,” says guest curator and Giant Robot co-founder Eric Nakamura. “The art is accessible because it has an illustrative aspect. People without art backgrounds can understand it.”

SuperAwesome: Art and Giant Robot will be on view at the Oakland Museum of California April 19 through July 27, 2014. The exhibition connects to OMCA’s other spring exhibition Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records through programs and in-gallery experiences celebrating how a range of communities comes together to create shared popular culture.



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CES Day 1.5 – Day 3 and Fleetwood Mac

Doc? Flux Capacitor? No roads needed? Dean Gojobori hits CES Day 1.5 – Day 3 and he also went to see Fleetwood Mac. Alien Jerky on the way back?



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GR2 Interview: Merging Views – Stasia Burrington

1) Explain about your work area / studio. What about it makes you enjoy working there? 

I work in my home studio in Seattle, WA. I’ve claimed the corner with the largest windows, so I have great natural light! I also have a coffee/tea station right behind my work area, to keep me fueled. I have a computer/printer/scanner station, as well as a large fold-out table for when I need more surface area. I most love working at home because I can take lots of breaks and continue to work late at night, with the company of our two little kitties. I’m surrounded by things that inspire me and make me happy.

2) How does it differ from your last working area?

Our last apartment was smaller, darker and further from town. Now it’s so much nicer!

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Jungle Gym of My Mind – Mari Inukai Exhibition

Mari Inukai’s exhibition, Jungle Gym of My Mind opened last night at Thinkspace Gallery in Culver City. I’ve known Mari for years and I’m qualified to say that the subjects of her art progresses with her life. There are dark and light moments and a consistent subject is her daughter Sena. Seeing an image of Mari clothed and sitting in a bathtub is striking. When does one sit in a bathtub clothed? The spectacle piece and perhaps the largest is a portrait of Sena in Japanese traditional attire. She’s posed in the center and is a huge piece of Mari’s life. At times, their relationship seems like they are the best of friends and sometimes, Sena jumps into the mother role. The drawings are simple and refined. The graphite line work tell stories. Female nudes? Yes, she paints them classy. Here are more photos.



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GR Podcast: Katsuya Terada

Here’s an interview video podcast with artist Katsuya Terada who’s exhibition, “Hot Pot Girls” will be at Giant Robot 2. I hope you enjoy the interview.




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Left Field Project Interview: Eric Nakamura

It’s always an honor to be interviewed by old faces from great places. Thanks Duane Fernandez. The intro paragraphs are much too complimentary. I hope you read it anyway. Here is an excerpt:

“My first interaction with the Giant Robot brand was over 14 years ago in Tucson, Arizona, in the magazine section of a Border’s bookstore. There it was, just sitting there waiting to deconstruct every preconceived notion I had of what a magazine should be. That moment would impact my life forever; I’d never look at media the same way again.”

What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a world champion pro tennis player with the style of Bjorn Borg and the heart of John McEnroe.

Much more at Left Field Project



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Giant Robot Video: Ako Castuera

It’s a flashback video from a bit ago, but it holds up.



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GR2: Exhibition – kozyndan – End of Summer Never Ends


September 7 th – September 25th, 2013

Reception: Saturday, September 7 th, 6:30 – 10:00 p.m.

GR2 2062 Sawtelle Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90025 gr2.net (310) 445-9276

Giant Robot is proud to present End of Summer Never Ends, an art show featuring new works by kozyndan (featuring Leah Chun).

It’s been years since artist duo kozyndan has exhibited in their home city of Los Angeles. In fact, it was more than a decade ago since their first exhibition at the Giant Robot store which then prompted the opening of Giant Robot 2. We’ll be seeing a new range of work, from their paintings to their newer craft of sculpture. Their influence from their worldly travels will continue and they’ll also have a special guest artist and collaborator, Leah Chun who’s works are driven by popular culture. End of Summer Never Ends will continue the legacy of the artist duo.

An opening reception for End of Summer Never Ends will take place from 6:30 – 10:00 on Saturday, Sept 7th.

For more information about any of the artists, GR2, or anything else:

Eric Nakamura

Giant Robot Owner/Publisher

[email protected]

(310) 445 9276



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GR2: Stories Reception

Stories Exhibition at Giant Robot 2 featuring great artists: Edwin Ushiro, Sean Chao, Martin Hsu, Jen Tong, Jeni Yang and Tessar Lo. Thanks for coming out and thanks for the support. We’ll be posting the art online perhaps as soon as Monday.



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GR2: Video – Theo Ellsworth Exhibition

Video by DJ Tony Jr




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Audrey Kawasaki Hint Mint Sets (SIGNED)



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Smithsonian: Intersections as American Life

Scroll down from the top and see the list of artists. I helped curate this with others including Shizu Saldamando and Adriel Luis. I hope the event goes well. It’ll be art projected on walls in an urban area in Washington DC. I’ll post more updates as they come. I added Albert Reyes, Ana Serrano, Shizu Saldamando (who was reluctant at first since she’s another curator), kozyndan, and Clement Hanami. But this should be a fun one and a precursor for more. http://apa.si.edu/asianlatino/art.html



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GR2: Sat 7/20 2-4pm Author Book Signing – Malaysian Artist Cheeming “Boey”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Signing with Malaysian Artist, Cheeming “Boey”

July 20 2-4pm

GR2 – 2062 Sawtelle Blvd LA, CA 90025 www.gr2.net 310 445 9276

He often draws intricate portraits on styrofoam cups. He’s been featured in multiple videos displaying his craft. Perhaps you’ll get to see him do this. Yet, he’s also promoting a new book, When I Was a Kid, a collection of comics about his youth in Malaysia. The work flows and appears effortless and it goes to show you that the combination of ideas and a simple drawing style work. He draws often and has a blog featuring his daily comic at Iamboey.com

For any information:

Eric Nakamura
Giant Robot Owner/Publisher
[email protected]
(310) 445-9276



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GR2: July 27th – August 14th – Theo Ellsworth

 

Theo Ellsworth at GR2
July 27th – August 14th, 2013

Reception: Saturday, July 27th, 6:30 – 10:00 p.m.

GR2 2062 Sawtelle Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90025 gr2.net (310) 445-9276

Giant Robot is proud to present Laughing Ghost Nation, an art show featuring new works by Theo Ellsworth.

Theo Ellsworth is promising that this is going to be his biggest show ever. That’s a huge promise and we’re ready for him. He now lives in Montana, has an expanded studio and will be in attendance.

From Wikipedia: “Ellsworth has published two books, including Capacity and Sleeper Car. A story from Sleeper Car was chosen for The Best American Comics 2010.[1] His work has been described as “a cross between cartooning and art, poetry and the nonsensical ramblings of a writer emerging from a dream.”

An opening reception for Ellsworth will take place from 6:30 – 10:00 on Saturday, July 27th.

For more information about Ellsworth, GR2, or anything else:

Eric Nakamura

Giant Robot Owner/Publisher

[email protected]

(310) 445 9276



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281_Anti-Nuke Art Retrospective in Roppongi

 

Things are heating up again in Japanese politics. The House of Councillors election for the Japanese Diet’s upper house is expected to take place in July 21, 2013. As a result, it’s J-Politics all the time in the Japanese news cycle and until then, we won’t find out whether the ruling party, LDP, will have a firmer foothold.

Until then, you can get your fix of both art and politics at  281_Anti-Nuke’s exhibition at the Pink Cow bar in Roppongi, Japan.Tourists and Tokyoites may have seen 281′s work conspicuously stickered on public property throughout the city. Giant Robot did a brief entry on sighting on his designs last Fall. Since then, 281′s prominence has grown as more news outlets have reported on his work.

His art stands on its own, but his agenda is a bit bit clearer now that he’s agreed to a few interviews. His position on nuclear energy is a given. Most of this is an extension of his opposition to Japanese politicians in general who he feels carelessly put the country in harms way due to poor regulation of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants that underwent a meltdown after the Earthquake and Tsunami in March 11,2011. He agrees with critics who accuse the Japanese government and TEPCO of (unintentionally) ‘creating’ the nuclear disaster through their own corrupt mismanagement and incompetence. Hence why both ex-PM Yoshihiko Noda from the political ‘left’ and current PM Shinzo Abe from the ‘right’ are targets of his rage. They’re each a part of the establishment that enabled TEPCO to haphazardly play dice with the country’s future. It’s this political context thatt has led connoisseurs to deem him Japan’s ‘Banksy,’ an English graffiti artist who–like 281–operates anonymously.

Most of 281′s art is still visible on the streets of Shibuya, Shinjuku, and other parts of Tokyo. However, a lot of it has either faded or been defaced, so it’s more preferable to see his art in a more preserved state at The Pink Cow. Even if political activism is beneath or beyond you, you can at least act like you know.

The Pink Cow
5-5-1 Roppongi Roi Bulding B1F Minato-ku,
Tokyo 106-0032

For more information: visit www.thepinkcow.com.



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