During the pandemic, globally acclaimed Keiichi Tanaami found himself on the brink of utter boredom. What got him out of his funk was Picasso. Keiichi Tanaami is known for his monstrous, contemporary, downright psychedelic, and kaleidoscopic pieces. A master of silk screening, acrylic painting, collage, animation, and more, his art has countlessly whirled around the globe. Tanaami is considered the precursor of the Superflat movement. Being affected by the war and post-war Japan, many of these traumatic experiences appear in his art, whether it’s air raids, explosions, or the bright flip-side of the 60s, creating an altogether enigmatic constitution of his dreams and memories. Exploring his past and present is an important piece of the puzzle that makes Tanaami, who transcribes these visions to be shared with the world. However, having a dry spell when everything you’ve ever known brakes suddenly is understandable. Unable to resume his projects and works, Tanaami turned to one of his most fond paintings by Picasso “Mother and Child” and created a replica. He realized he thoroughly enjoyed this process of mindless painting and based himself on this type of work to create a collection of over 400 Picasso-inspired paintings. Tanaami focused on a new canvas while repeating what he remembered from his last canvas, creating a sequence similar to “a game of Chinese whispers”. Mizuki Khoury
Keiichi Tanaami is looked upon as the forerunner of Japanese Pop Art and is one of the country’s most influential artists. His career began in the 1960s in the field of tension, typical of the time, between commissioned art and the anti-art movement, experiments with drugs and consumer culture. Under the influence of the Japanese cardboard-theatre “Kamishibai”, American B-movies and in particular Andy Warhol, Tanaami developed a style very much his own.
Keiichi Tanaamistudied graphic design at Musashino Art University and established a successful advertising and editorial career. Encounters with Japan’s Neo-Dada scene and Andy Warhol’s work inspired him to focus on fine art. Tanaami has exhibited widely across the globe, and his work belongs in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, Yokohama Museum of Art, M+, and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., among others. Tanaami has collaborated with brands including Adidas, Bearbrick, and Uniqlo.
Published by Nieves, 24 pgs, 19.5 × 25.5 cm, Softcover, 2023, 978-3-907179-65-9