Posts Tagged Atsushi Takahashi
Sounds like what financial advisers say, but for our art gallery too-diversification is important. I got an e-mail from a European gallery that specializes in Chinese art. I had been in contact with them before and could not get any work from them–they were all sold out, but now they have a ton of stock and it is hard to sell what they have.
Thinking that when things were good, they could do very well but with the downturn in Chinese art, they must be having a hard time. That said, there were many beautiful and strong works available.
We did not get hit too badly when the Chinese market tanked since we have a variety of works–different countries, range of artist styles and range of artists. I think that is important.
Some gallerists whose artists are all over 60 or dead, tell us that they wish they had younger artists. I think the younger gallery staff want someone to talk with.
Why don’t the gallery owners seek them [younger artists] out? I think it is because they just became comfortable dealing with their usual array artists> It is different working with younger artists than older artists. All artists need some feedback, some encouragement, some opportunity to talk about their work, but the younger artists also need help with their resume, assistance in talking with customers, ideas on pricing and shows, and a chance to bring their exciting and interesting friends to the shows and openings.
Maybe some gallerists would rather their openings be quiet events just sitting around chatting, but I like it when the artists bring their friends. Sometimes they drink too much and jokingly say, “Give me a show”, but it adds to the color of the gallery.
Younger artists often appeal to younger people and it is also good for us to appeal to a diversified range of customers.
Case in point: Yesterday, a young banker dropped by the gallery-he had never bought art before, but was interested in seeing what we have. I left him alone as he walked around the gallery. If his place was bigger, he would have liked to get the beautiful painting we have called American Portrait by Toru Tohiguchi who won the first prize in the Japan Print Association Exhibition last year.
His favorites were two of our younger artists: Joji Shimamoto and Atsushi Takahashi-artists that we added within the last year. I wrote about Joji before–Japanese guy who went to art school in SF and then spent time in NY. He has a great eye. Spends a lot of time with skateboarders and does shoots for youth clothing brads. His one man show will open in March.
Atsushi Takahashi does these whimsical portraits and then drizzles paint on top of them Jackson Pollock style. For Valentines Day, we are keeping Atsushi busy painting portraits of children that their parents have bought for them.
Two days ago, I finally made it over to the Design Festa Gallery to see the finalists in the art_icle award. I say finally because I had planned to go to the opening party, but we got busy in the gallery on Sunday night and I never made it to the opening.
The art_icle awards are something new. arti_icle magazine, a free giveaway that is getting better and better, tries to promote young artists by having this contest and they had hundreds of entries. They published the works of all of the entrants in the magazine and even this kind of exposure is terrific for artists. They are doing the artists and art in Tokyo a great service by doing this.
If I were one of the judges, I would have chosen different finalists. I am not sure who the winner was. I liked many of the entrants who were not among the finalists, including Atsushi Takahashi who we just added to our gallery.
I had this expectation going over to the show and my expectations were confirmed. The choices were predictable, nothing that blew me away.
I will try to hunt down the ones that interest me most among the non-finalists, but it is not easy to find artists who don’t have representation. Some disappear. They stop making art, teach yoga or go away for a while. Some never come back to art. As a gallerist, we keep the art wheels of Japan moving because when we show interest in an artists, we encourage them to keep at it.
I had never been to Design Festa Gallery in Harajuku and was not sure what to expect. It turns out to be a giant art space, a rental gallery where artists can rent rooms or a wall and show their art. I spoke with one of the organizers, Toshie Tomita, and she said that artists do sell there, and that they have good crowds of people, especially on the weekends. I saw a lot of young people when I was there–it is near Harajuku, and a lot of earnest young artists showing their works. Unfortunately, some artists just hid in the corner of their rooms and some stayed out in the hall and talked to their friends.
Artists really do need help in learning how to approach visitors/customers and in displaying their wares. The best work I saw in the whole building was “not for sale”. The artist brought it in to show an example of her work.
I left with mixed feelings–it was great to see something like this in Tokyo, but disappointed that the art was not something that appealed to me.
Needed to have a break to put some thoughts together and went to Wendies to relax. A lot of cute young couples sitting together dreamily and not talking too much. I plunked myself down in the middle of it.
Finished my burger and some reading and headed along Aoyama Dori to Harajuku Station. Looked at the groups of smokers huddled around the ashtrays along the street and also looked into some shops and bars to see who was buying or drinking what.
Just as I was getting ready to cross the street, looked into a small bar and saw one artwork on the wall that looked familiar and looked beautiful. Stared for a second but went right into the bar, told the staff I didn’t want a drink but wanted to look at the art.
One painting on the wall made my day. It was by Takako Sato, whose work we had before in the gallery–we may still have one of her works. [This photo is of a work we sold long ago.] A beautiful screenprint with many coats of ink and a lot of white space, in a style similar to that of her teacher, Junji Amano. They had three of her works there, but the one I saw first was the best. It turns out that she works in another branch of the same bar and I will call there on Saturday to talk with here. The bar staff was so surprised that I knew her name and had never seen anyone come in just to see the art.
Me: I was thrilled to see this beautiful work and glad to have a way of getting in touch with the artist again. This is one artist we had lost touch with. I had heard she was putting more time into teaching aerobics than her art, but she is a very good artist. I look forward to seeing what she is up to and seeing what she has, and possibly showing more of her work in the gallery.
This discovery made my day. The other work I saw in the “official gallery spaces” did not affect me in the same way as this work that just happened to be hanging in the bar.
My advice to artists: Show your work anywhere you can-restaurants, bars, hotels, private homes in additon to your own. Art must be seen.