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Mr.

Mr.’s work expands on the otaku culture of Japan.

Taking his name from the national baseball superstar Shigeo Nagashima’s alias “Mister,” Mr. began as the protégé of Takashi Murakami, and has worked as an artist for over eight years.  Praised by Paul McCarthy as having “an unbearable irresistibility in its tiny, innocent world,” Mr.’s works range from drawings and paintings to large sculpture.

Whether they are “innocent” or not remains a question.  Mr.’s works are “Japanese” in their anime-inspired, large-eyed characters and flat color fields.  Portraying cute cartoon characters in a sexual context, Mr.’s work embodies the Lolita-esque fascination with young children found frequently in the Japanese comic industry.  Is it cultural commentary or an exploration of his own fascination?  Perhaps it is the potential for both that gives his work such power.

Also a performance and video artist, four of Mr.’s anime-inspired sculptural pieces were installed in Issey Miyake’s Aoyama boutique in Tokyo for Christmas season of 2004.  His work, like that of his mentor, is character driven, and a small green sponge-like character “Toshihiko Yokohama” which he created was adopted by the pop band Kicell for their album design. 

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