Yoshitomo Nara - Untitled
Acylic on window glass with wood frame. 107 x 92 x 5 cm. Signed and dated 'Yoshitomo Nara '91'. - Traces of studio and minor traces of age.
In 1991, the year in which the work on offer was created, the Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara was studying at the Kunstakademie in Dusseldorf under A.R. Penck. The influence of his teacher can be discerned in this early work which is reminiscent of a child's drawing due to its highly simplified, sketch-like execution. It thus contrasts with Naras later paintings which are characterised by a smooth, flawless visual vocabulary.
The feeling of isolation that the young artist experienced, living in a foreign country for several years, and his confrontation with the unfamiliar environment are expressed in his art. In a nonverbal manner, he manages to give the viewer an insight into himself through his paintings and drawings, incorporating childhood memories and the visual vocabulary of Japanese children's books. Even in his early works, he concentrates on isolated child figures who act in a kind of bubble without a defined environment. While these little protagonists are often characterised by emotions such as being lost, grief or anger, the present work conveys a feeling of optimism and insouciance.
Similar to the Manga comics of his Japanese homeland or street art, Nara repeatedly combines painting with elements of text. In this work, a window with a wooden frame that was adapted as an unconventional picture carrier, also evokes the rough character of street art. Nara's use of text passages usually stem from rock or punk songs which he listens to during the artistic process. This music is a major source of inspiration for him; key issues such as rebellion and nonconformity are repeatedly found in his painting. In this case, however, he emphasises the pleasure of music and a positive basic attitude: 'But nothing get[s] me down.'
Yoshitomo Nara, The complete works, paintings, sculptures, editions, photographs, Vol. 1, San Francisco 2011, cat.rais. no. P-1991-016
Directly from the artist; private collection, Rhineland-Palatinate