So the latter half of my trip was begun with a painting commission for a native New Yorker. My friend I-Am-Jesse, a killer DJ who has resided in Japan for many years now, hit me up around the same time I was contacted by Ken South Rock to make a painting for his amazing Shibuya apartment. I crashed at my good friends Frankie and Emi's house for a couple days near Shinjuku as I began to work on the piece, and then made it over to Jesse's in Shibuya to finish. Upon completion my last few days in Japan were numbered and the insanity ensued. The latter half of the trip was full of art making, book buying, amazing food, awesome city lurking, people watching, mad partying, building new relationships with some amazing artists, spending time with really good old friends, and all around general mayhem. I was even introduced to a group of artists who run an alternative space called Spes-Lab in Ebisu, Tokyo, and was coincidentally invited to come back in the Spring to rock a solo venture at the space. I was dumbfounded, honored, intimidated, and pretty much floored when I was asked to do this, as I have always wanted to have something like this come about and had never imagined it would be this soon. Big thank you to everyone and everything that made this experience possible. It was amazing.
The video store near Frankie and Emi's crib was pretty cool. I was into the character design on this one and...
I found John Rambo in Japan. Japambo! Then I found the "adult section" holy shit, craziness. Also they have some truly bizarre and intense porn out there...
This temple is right down the street from Frankie and Emi's place. One of the most amazing things about cities like Tokyo is that you are bombarded with a truly modern even futuristic high tech setting all the time. Yet every few blocks you are reminded of the city's rich, thousands of years of history shown in structures and places like this amidst the Blade Runneresque developments.
Super sick monk statue at a temple in the middle of Tokyo.
Temple Graveyard near Frankie and Emi's.
So after the graveyard it was time to get to work and start painting my commission...
Commission Painting Stage one at Frankie and Emi's House.
So I got the back ground worked up to where I really liked it at Frankie and Emi's place. Honestly once I got it to this point, I seriously considered not taking it any further for I felt I had never gotten an abstract piece to this level before and really questioned letting it just be. It felt good to just sit there and stare at and it felt balanced, so I took a break and distracted myself with other things like...
Talking deliriously to Emi's stuffed animal friends, like this pig, and...
Watching Frankie and Emi come in from the hottest fucking day of all time and totally zone out on the couch as the air conditioner cooled them down to "human" levels.
Then it was time to get on the bus to go to DJ I-Am-Jesse's crib and finish working on this piece.
I had to get some sushi before I got back to work. This was a wopping $7. True Talk.
I-Am-Jesse's crib in Shibuya, sickkkk!
Sayin cheese for my own lens.
So after a lot of pondering, a lot of reference research, and a lot of plain old compositional thinking, I started putting down line work. It literally took about three hours of looking and adjusting the direction and order of the two panels to finally make my first marks.
Work table in full effect.
And boom, just about finished product.
Right Panel Detail
Right Panel Detail
What a view from I-Am-Jesse's Crib. Talk about an amazing place to make art!
Shake Weight is even weirder in Japan! Japanese TV time. The pieces are still "Untitled" but they as a Diptych should just be called "Dream Adventure" because that's what this trip was. Each Panel was about 2'x3' and the paintings were a mixture of spray paint, house paint, and plastic model kit enamel. Here are a couple more shots.
Left Side Panel "Things Do What They Will" I think I should call it.
And the right panel should be called "Learning How to Fill My Lungs".
So the night I finished the commission we went out on the town, and we ended up at the amazing Spes-Lab.
Next Post to Come. Japan part 3!!! The final installment, Spes-Lab, Yoyogi Park, and getting weird all the way to Haneda airport.