Closes in 11 days
“Boroboro Dorodoro” — muddiness and rattiness — don’t come to mind as you stand outside Watari-um’s (www.watarium.co.jp ) clean postmodernist facade, but that’s what you’ll find inside. The exhibition aims to present “the return of Japanese subculture” through Taylor McKimens and Misaki Kawai, two young street artists currently based in Brooklyn.
The two’s works are fun and playful. McKimens, who is interested in the “overlooked, nondramatic decay that constantly surrounds us,” presents grotesque yet compelling domestic scenes. Through paintings and an inventive, life-size paper installation, he creates a festering world where chewed gum fills dirty living rooms and men sit in backyards with just their underwear and plastic bowls to cover themselves. Gross, yes, but McKimens’s choice of pastel colors, cartoon-like drawing style and his eye for detail — note the bits of fly in the fly swatter — create repellent works that don’t repel.
Kawai’s “Space House” is equally as detailed, though to a more cutesy effect. The giant installation is of connected space ships that appear to be the rooms of a house. Homespun dolls representing the artist and her friends occupy rooms with magazines and posters, glasses of wine and a Jacuzzi. Made out of junk and other cheap materials, its childishness — think sophisticated elementary school art — possesses its own charm.
Though this amusing show stands above the usual work produced by the manga-inspired generation, these young artist’s voices still need strengthening. Though their works are not mass manufactured comics, they are are not quite unique.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.