Thank Heaven for 7 Eleven

Japanese contemporary artist Mr (born in 1969 in Cupa, Japan) is based in the Saitama Prefecture near Tokyo. As a young child he had a love for drawing and received many awards and accolades. By high school he was painting with oils. This encouraged Mr to study art for eight years before graduating from Sokei Art School in 1996.

A former protégé of Takashi Murakami, Mr works in a wide range of media, including painting, sculpture and video, He takes his inspiration from TV, though his works are all closely related in aesthetics, style, and theme.

  • He is a self-proclaimed otaku (people who love animation, games and manga) with a ‘Lolita-complex’ as many of  his pieces depict young boys and girls in an anime/manga style. While quite cute and innocent on the surface, many of his works are also quite sexualised, tying into the anime phenomenon of sābisu katto (aka fan service).

He has since worked as an assistant to Murakami, and member of Murakami’s Kaikai Kiki art production studio which has also supported Mr in his solo career. His participation in Murakami’s 2000 exhibition Super Flat played a crucial role in earning him international attention and recognition.

  • Mr’s work debuted in both solo and group exhibitions in 1996, and he has exhibited in museums and galleries from Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, through to Paris, New York, Minneapolis, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, Jerusalem, and London.
  • Mr exhibited in a group show at the Grimaldi Forum, in Monaco, entitled ‘Exhibition Kyoto-Tokyo: From Samurais to Mangas’ and had a solo exhibition at Leeahn Gallery in Seoul, South Korea.
  • In 2014 he had a solo exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum.

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“Is It Art?”

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