Home sweet home

2 02 2008

I stumbled on a online gold mine. A talented guy named Tomoyuki Sakaguchi took some amazing photographs of his neighborhood. In his new photo book entitled Home, he captures 84 pages of Tama, the largest planned residential development in Japan.

Tama is a prefect of Tokyo. It’s famous for the Sanrio Puroland, the indoor, Sanrio theme park. It’s also the setting for that crazy anime movie, Pom Poko. Tomoyuki took all of these when the town was asleep. I think it give the photos a sort of magical look. My favorite time of day is that twilight time when you can’t tell if the sun is rising or setting.

“I had done a lot of central Tokyo photographs in the past, skyscrapers and trains,” says Sakaguchi, “and so I wanted to try a different location. I went to normal homes and photographed them at night. When I saw the results I was surprised, I felt as if I was looking at another world.” – Tomoyuki in a Japan Times article

Sakaguchi was a runner up for the Aperture Portfolio Prize. His book would make a perfect coffee table book. Purchase it here. Visit his Web site for more photos.

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I’m still alive…

22 01 2008

I’m very sorry that I haven’t posted in a long time. At school, everyone wants a piece of my time, and it has been hard trying to get all my priorities straight. I promise you that from this day forward you will get at least one post from me per week if not more. I have a lot of great things to talk to you guys about so stay tuned!

Hey, do you think I should buy this Buff Monster print? I have been debating it for a while. There are only 50 prints so I think the $40 asking price is reasonable.





Will Geisai Miami bite the dust? Your guess is as good as mine.

17 12 2007

Maria Adelaida Lopez’s doll house covered with vacuum cleaner dust. Photo from: Critical Miami

I was really excited when I found out that the popular, bi-annual, Japanese art show, Geisai, was coming to the States. The talented Takashi Murakami has been on the grind the last few months. Geisai Miami, the first edition of the Geisai art festivals in the country, appears to have been a dollar store of unknown art. But alas, nothing is as good as the original. There was more reporting done a few months ago about the artists being selected than reviews of the event itself. My advice to Takashi: Keep Geisai in Japan.

Read more after the jump!





Kanye Mixtape and Happy Birthday to Me!!!

5 12 2007

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Kanye’s mixtape cover, photo from HipHopDX; Me and 9th Wonder at his album release show

Twenty-one years ago a beautiful little girl came into this world – it was moi! Your girl is finally legal. I had an awesome b’day party last night to celebrate turning the big 21. Of course I had to have karaoke, another great Japanese invention. For my b’day I will give yall a present. I got my hands on Kanye West’s mixtape a while ago, but I didn’t get a chance to post it. I hope Kanye is doing okay right now. His mother’s unexpected passing must be killing him; he hasn’t updated his blog in a while. Rest in peace Dr. Donda West.
The mixtape entitled The Graduate is WAY better (and longer) than the official Graduation CD. It’s all due to the mixing geniuses of Ohio-born Mick Boogie and Terry Urban not to mention my man, Carolina’s finest, 9th Wonder. This mixtape is SO DOPE. There’s some Nas, Mos Def, Jay-Z, Weezy, Biggie, Busta Rhymes, Lupe, Dr. Dre, Common, Talib Kweli, Ludacris, and Little Brother. Damn, even Patti Labelle? Talkin about pulling out all the stops, Takashi did some new cover art. Here’s a selection of some of my favorite songs. You really are suppose to listen to the tracks back to back. If you want to listen to the whole thing go here. Before you guys pounce on me about illegally downloading and sharing songs I will have you know that Kanye released this mixtape for free and wants people to download it. Make sure you go buy 9th Wonder’s new album and Little Brother’s new album. I’m going to see LB perform on Friday. For my b’day, can y’all get me a Takashi skateboard?

Read more after the jump!





New posters and more than 2,000 page views!

3 12 2007

Hey, everyone! This is a busy few weeks for me because of finals. I just wanted to thank you again for your continued support. Black Otaku has more than 2,000 page views! To show my appreciation I want to share with you some recent additions to my cinder-box apartment I call a dorm.

I don’t normally buy things online, but I decided to give it the old college try when I discovered that Giant Robot has a pretty rad online store. I suggest you go take a look at what they are selling. There were a lot of products to pick from. I’ve kinda gotten into this art phase where I am really interested in prints and posters by emerging artists. Looky what I got!

Read more after the jump!





David Choe is still a bad ass

26 11 2007

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Choe gave the Facebook offices a face-lift. I can’t find the page I originally got this photo from so if this is yours please let me know so I can give you credit. Art below is from Choe’s official Web site.

If you like graffiti, ninja stars and talking whales then you should check out L.A. artist/muralist David Choe. His art is provocative and destructive yet somehow comforting at the same time. He’s not afraid to do whatever the heck he wants with anything he can find. He did the cover art for Giant Robot’s 50th anniversary issue, and he is also featured in their biennial art exhibit at JANM.

An art school dropout, David Choe developed a following after his highly successful, self-published (thanks, Kinkos) “Slow Jams.” The graphic novel tells the story of a masturbating art student, who gets obsessed with an unattainable girl.

Choe can make anything out of anything on anything.

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He was arrested in 2004, after he beat up an undercover detective in Tokyo. He spent four months in solitary confinement in a Japanese prison. This didn’t stop him from creating. Imprisoned, he used soy sauce and even his own urine to continue to make art. Since then, he has developed a cult following.

Choe has done work for Sony, PlayStation Magazine, EA Games, Harrahs Las Vegas, Levis, Hurley, CBS, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, FTC Skateboards, Tower records, Warner Brothers Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Jane Magazine and much much more. Does this make him a sellout? He doesn’t think so.

It doesn’t help that people say shit like, “I admired and connected with your work because it was raw, fresh, unglamorized, and a “not giving a fuck attitude towards it”. Your work was the level I wanted to be on. I’m over it now though. No offense, but you shouldn’t get too comfortable doing the same type of shit over and over. I know it sells, but cmon, man.” It’s like, do I like the work or the story of the artist? The line became blurred for me in regards to you.” … Bottom line though is that I don’t give a fuck, I make art that I like for myself, to express myself, and if my personality gets in the way of that then don’t read or watch any more interviews. If you think I’m repeating myself your fucking tripping.

Well, there you go.

Choe just finished a nationwide tour. He wants to eventually retire early and illustrate the entire Bible and paint the Great Wall of China. Oh BTW he’s not Japanese. He’s Korean.

Here’s a video of Choe messin’ around.

Check out his most recent book published by Giant Robot called Cursiv.

Check out his blog and his Web site for more info.





Takashi Murakami art exhibition and gala in L.A. (Kanye performs!)

31 10 2007

Photo by Eric Nakamura, Giant Robot publisher and editor

I think I would have even endured the L.A. smog just to get a glance at Takashi Murakami’s show opening and gala at The Geffen Contemporary at The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) this past weekend. Saturday the exhibition opened for members only, and Sunday there was a gala for invited guests. Celebrities such as Owen Wilson, Toby McGuire, Cindy Crawford, Serena Willliams and Christina Ricci came out for a glitzy, artsy, sort-of-perverted weekend of fun. On Sunday, Harajuku girls led the way, and Kanye West brought the house down with several musical numbers. It seems like everyone was also stealing each other’s Takashi-inspired placemats.

Takashi is the Japanese artist best known for his colorful “superflat” style. He is the guy behind those limited edition Louis Vuitton bags and Kanye West’s new album cover. MOCA is featuring more than 90 of Takashi’s works (paintings, sculptures, installations and films) both old and new. Included in the exhibition will be a fully operational Louis Vuitton boutique showcasing Takashi’s designs and a huge, metallic, self-portrait sculpture in the form of a Buddha that stands 5,680 mm high. The exhibition will be open to the public from Oct. 29, to Feb. 11. Check out Eric’s blog for a slide show of photos from the exhibit.

Read more after the jump!