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Yoshitomo Nara

Cosmic Girl (Eyes Open, Eyes Shut) (Two Works), 2008

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Lot 39
Two offset lithographs in colors on wove paper
28.0 x 21.0 in (71.1 x 53.3 cm)
Edition of 500


This work ships from the United Kingdom.


The manga and anime of Yoshitomo Nara's 1960s childhood are both clear influences on Nara's stylized, large-eyed figures, as seen here in “Cosmic Girl.” Nara subverts the aesthetically charming illustrative style, however, by infusing his works with horror-like imagery. This juxtaposition of human evil with the innocence of childhood may be a reaction to Japan's rigid social conventions. He has also cited traditions as varied as Renaissance painting, literature, illustration, ukiyo-e, and graffiti as further inspiration. But perhaps most significantly, Nara’s upbringing in post-World War II Japan profoundly affected his mindset and, subsequently, his artwork as well.

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About Yoshitomo Nara

Yoshitomo Nara (Japanese, b.1959) lives and works in Tokyo. His work draws on his childhood experiences of spending time alone with only his imagination, comic books and family pets. As a result, much of his work includes images of seemingly innocent, wide-eyed and comic book-like children and dogs. His nightmarish graphics, for which he has gained an international cult following, are simultaneously vulnerable and provocative, and stand as a critical affront to the rigidness of certain aspects of Japan’s social conventions.