MWG is Exhibiting at PULSE Art Fair Booth A7!

Mike Weiss Gallery / Booth A7
Artists include Jan De Vliegher, Will Kurtz, Trudy Benson, KAORUKO, Kim Dorland and Patrick Lundeen.

PULSE New York, May 3 - 6, 2012 
The Metropolitan Pavilion
125 West 18th Street (between 6th & 7th Ave.)
New York, NY 10011 

FAIR HOURS:
Friday            10am - 8pm
Saturday        noon - 8pm            
Sunday          noon - 5pm

Review in Asian Art News on KAORUKO! “In Aromako, the olfactory senses are brought to the surface of these picture planes…”

By Robert C. Morgan

"To communicate such intimate spacial desires in painting is not an easy task: to do so requires distance and restraint. These paintings are not expressionist in the Western sense of exposing one’s inner-self. Rather they are gentle explorations whereby the artist searches for a mirror that reflects a way of life to which she is accustomed." Read more

KAORUKO / Lotus Foot (left) / 2011
KAORUKO / Aromako Origin; Close Up (right) / 2011

KAORUKO made the cover of New American Paintings ed. 98 with work featured on pages 64-66. Marc Séguin’s work is on pages 108-111.



Also for KAORUKO’s 2011 exhibition KAORUKO Aromako at the Mike Weiss Gallery, the show was selected by New American Paintings’ Must See Paintings Shows as one of the top must see exhibitions throughout America in 2011.

Highlights from 2011 at Mike Weiss Gallery

Christian Vincent / “Tunnel Vision” Reception / January 2011

Hermann Nitsch’s 60. Painting Action // 60. Malaktion 

Hermann Nitsch’s 60. Painting Action // 60. Malaktion 

Hermann Nitsch’s 60. Painting Action // 60. Malaktion

Marc Seguin’s Studio / Works from “Failures” Series / January

Marc Seguin’s Film Screening of “Bulls Eye; Artists on the Watch” at Independent Film Archives / February

Marc Seguin’s Film Screening of “Bulls Eye; Artists on the Watch” at Independent Film Archives / February

Marc Seguin / Failure’s Reception / March

Marc Seguin / Failure’s Reception / March

Yigal Ozeri / Opening Reception of Garden of the Gods / May

Yigal Ozeri / Opening Reception of Garden of the Gods / May

Yigal Ozeri / Opening Reception of Garden of the Gods / May

Kim Dorland / Opening Reception of “For Lori” / June 2011

Kim Dorland / Opening Reception of “For Lori” / June 2011

Stefanie Gutheil / Making Wall text for “Dreckige Katze” / Septemeber

Stefanie Gutheil / Opening Reception for “Dreckige Katze’” / September

Stefanie Gutheil / Opening Reception for “Dreckige Katze’” / September

Stefanie Gutheil & Barbara Cuestara Performaing at Bowery Electric / September

Trudy Benson’s / Opening Reception of “Actual/Virtual” / October

Trudy Benson’s / Opening Reception of “Actual/Virtual” / October

Trudy Benson’s After party / October

Trudy Benson’s After party / October

Trudy Benson’s After party / October

Kim Dorland and Assistants installation works in Booth at TIAF / October

Kim Dorland’s “Cabin” Installation at TIAF

KAORUKO’s Opening reception of “Aromako” / November

KAORUKO’s Opening reception of “Aromako” / November

KAORUKO’s Opening reception of “Aromako” / November

KAORUKO’s Opening reception of “Aromako” / November

Mike Weiss & Virginia Martinsen’s Wedding Day / December

GoSee: Creative News Services Featured KAORUKO’s Aromako

KAORUKO is the first solo exhibition by former Japanese pop star KAORUKO at the Mike Weiss Gallery. The visitor numbers clearly reflected this – the media interest was equally as impressive.

“Aromako”, is a play on words on aroma and the artist’s name, which provides the k and o. She presents women in various stages of undress in a private environment. The images are underlines with a variety of references to Japanese culture, such as woodblock prints or typical Japanese patterns.

She places great importance on the women not being simply staged. It is not supposed to look voyeuristic, the viewer is supposed to feel as though they can see behind the scenes, into the demanding lives of young Japanese women, governed by socio-cultural norms.



In the series, the women inhale one another’s bodily odors, a gesture of familiarity that is a decidedly feminist stance against the significance placed by Japanese culture on pristine modesty. The very acknowledgment of these odors goes against the idealized fantasy of the ‘yamato nadeshiko’ (‘Japanese dianthus flowers’ meaning ‘women with traditional Japanese beauty’) and the social construct of ‘kawaii’, which values the feminine in terms of ‘adorability’ and ‘cuteness’ .

In revealing their skin, KAORUKO’s laid-back girls also present the truth about their bodies that lies concealed behind a mask of perfection, therefore illustrating the dichotomy of the contemporary Japanese women.

Click here to see the video from the opening night and read the full article.

KAORUKO “Aromako” made Artinfo’s Top 7 Shows to See!

To see the article click here.

KAORUKO “Aromako” Featured of ANIMAL NY blog

Japan’s former teen pop star Kaoruko’s large scale paintings glimpse into the complex worlds of female friendships and the identity of the contemporary Japanese woman. Kaoruko strips her girls down to their underwear… not to titillate you, but to establish intimacy that works against traditional culture’s moratorium on such violations of “pristine modesty.”

Combining stylistic allusions to the Ukiyo-e ‘floating world’ prints of the Edo period and the modern private domestic activity — exercise, hair braiding, foot stroking, joint crawling… Stop gawking, perverts

To see the full article click here.

KAORUKO “Aromako” Reviewed by NYC Gallery Girl Blog

It’s difficult to find one name for Kaoruko, former Japanese teen pop star, artistic pseudonym Tokyoko. Kaoruko’s name morphs as playfully as the various shapes of women on the canvas. Pinning down what her life before being a visual artist (what exactly does former J-pop star entail?) isn’t easy, but this recurring trope appears often in her interviews about her work (on Ninunina and Phofa).

Her work does not challenge the idea of femininity or the Japanese female identity (more specifically). Her work does not create any turbulence at all, but are imbued with a sense of wonder and prettiness (not Kawaii cuteness, though, thankfully). The pieces are calm and relaxed– both beautiful to look at both at a distance and in great detail close up. The beauty of the design and its bright and vibrant colors speak clearly. It distracts from the emotional distance from these silent women, who are difficult to connect with and wordless. The combination enhances a sense of fantasy and remoteness and leaves the viewer no closer to the identity of these women and only with an appreciation for their dreamlike magical worlds, with women as still and intricate as ornaments.

To read the full article click here.

If you weren’t able to make it to the opening reception of KAORUKO “Aromako,” don’t worry O’delle Abney has you covered!

KAORUKO Interviewed for NINUNINA Art Blog

You discuss how Japanese culture has influenced your work a lot, how does living in NY inspire your creativity?

Moving to New York and being away from my home country, I think I have re-discovered my cultural heritage for the very first time and have a deeper appreciation towards Japanese culture. It’s ironic but sometimes you cannot see things clearly when you are too close to them.  I never used a Kimono pattern as inspiration before I moved here. I have been exploring what it means to be Japanese through the use of symbols that reflect my heritage.

How much of traditional Japanese culture is a part of your art work and how much is pushing boundaries expressing the new modern Japanese woman?

The women I portray are hybrids of traditional Japanese women who have traditional cultural values yet have modern women’s characteristics. I like showing their unique natures in my work.

What are some of the greatest changes happening for women in Japan at the moment?

When we use the word “kawaii” to describe Japanese women, I personally picture those women who are pristine and modest just like delicate Japanese dainthus flowers. In Japan, those women are metaphorically called “Yamato Nadeshiko (Japanese dianthus flowers), meaning “women with traditional Japanese beauty.” They are supportive and respectful of their men which helps men be more manly in society. I feel Japanese women today still possess similar characteristics to a certain extent, yet they have evolved into a somewhat different breed that can cleverly hide their real motives (hidden agendas) under their perfect ”Yamato Nadeshiko” faces. In my work, I often portray women relaxed, revealing part of their skin/body in their own comfortable and personal space with the backdrop of traditional Japanese textiles. With this approach, I try to portray them not in a sexual or an erotic context, but to capture real modern Japanese women with their complex characters.

I personally think women possess this great ability of thinking intuitively rather than analytically. We think in our wombs, but not in our head. I believe this is our strength and we are evolving every day.

To read the full interview click here.

KAORUKO “Aromako” Opening Tomorrow from 6 - 8 PM

The exhibition will be on view from November 17, 2011 through January 7, 2012

Mike Weiss Gallery is pleased to present its first solo exhibition by Japanese artist KAORUKO. Aromako, a play on words combining the artist’s name and visual theme of the work, explores the complexity of the modern Japanese woman in terms of herself and tradition. Using acrylic paint, traditional sumi calligraphy techniques and silkscreened kimono patterns, KAORUKO creates large-scale paintings which depict women in their private domestic spaces.

Drawing upon both the rich cultural history of her homeland as well as her experiences as a former Japanese pop star, KAORUKO’s female figures are set against highly codified motifs sourced from traditional woodblock prints and Japanese textiles.  The luscious hues, and flattened planes of KAORUKO’s paintings are frequently inspired by the Ukiyo-e ‘floating world’ prints of the Edo period, and her inclusion of wave and ocean designs, which denote ‘happiness’ and ‘mystery’,  speak to her overarching themes of transcendence, self-acceptance and universal love. 

 

While KAORUKO’s women are presented in various stages of undress, the artist insists this is not an eroticized state but rather a rare, intimate glimpse into their private lives and the friendship between them. In thisseries, the women inhale one another’s bodily odors, a gesture of familiarity that is a decidedly feminist stance against the significance placed by Japanese culture on pristine modesty.  The very acknowledgment of these odors goes against the idealized fantasy of the yamato nadeshiko (a literal translation of this is ‘Japanese dianthus flowers’ meaning ‘women with traditional Japanese beauty’) and the social construct of kawaii, which values the feminine in terms of ‘adorability’ and ‘cuteness.’  In revealing their skin, as well as the truth about their bodies that lie concealed behind a mask of yamato nadeshiko perfection, KAORUKO illustrates the dichotomy of the contemporary Japanese women.  This woman has cleverly learned to balance traditional expectations— signified by the inclusion of time-honored motifs—with her modern lifestyle.

Born in Nagoya, Japan, KAORUKO is a self-taught artist who is now living and working in New York City.


Kaoruko Featured on Art Asia Pacific Magazine’s Blog

Kaoruko talks about five major influences on Art Asia Pacific Magazine Blog



Meet Kaoruko

We are pleased to announce our representation of Japanese artist, Kaoruko. Kaoruko’s large-scale paintings offer a fresh take on feminist imagery by combining codified prints taken from traditional Japanese textiles with female figures depicted in their private domestic spaces. By reflecting on a young woman’s relationship with herself, her possessions and her role in society, Kaoruko illustrates that simple, everyday rituals can lead to joy, happiness and ultimately transcendence. She currently lives and works in New York City.

Aroma Foot / 2010 / Acrylic, screen printing, sumi on canvas / 72 x 101 inches

Aroma Exercise / 2010 / Acrylic, screen printing and sumi on canvas / 85 x 122 inches