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.