Artist

Yoshitomo Nara

About

Yoshitomo Nara is a pioneering figure in contemporary art whose signature style—which expresses children in a range of emotional complexities from resistance and rebellion to quietude and contemplation—celebrates the introspective freedom of the imagination and the individual.

Yoshitomo Nara graduated from Aichi University of the Arts with a master’s degree in 1987, completing further studies at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, from 1988 to 1993, before settling in Cologne in 1994. This period of time was a pivotal influence on Nara, during which he began synthesizing Japanese and Western popular culture, as seen in Nachtwandern (1994), and when he arrived at his mature style, as seen in Pony Tail (1995) and Haze Days (1998). Nara’s paintings enact a fleeting presence between the figure and the ground—a result of several layers of paint in subtly varied if subdued pigments that he applies throughout the painting process—in which the figure pops out of or floats in a space that appears to exist outside the constraints of time.

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