Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Kuniyoshi Mention in Time Out New York & The New Yorker

While The New Yorker is featuring Kuniyoshi's “Hatsuhana Prays Under a Waterfall” on their Goings On About Town page, Time Out New York noted that

"Nobody at Japan Society would blame you for confusing Utagawa Kuniyoshi’s richly hued paintings of muscular samurai warriors facing off against wild-eyed sea monsters and evil spiders with a graphic-novel illustration. In fact, in its new exhibit, the institution seeks to further emphasize the strong connection between the 19th-century Japanese artist—who created more than 10,000 works in his lifetime—and contemporary manga and anime...The exhibit is divided into subsections (“Warriors,” “Beautiful Women,” etc.) that highlight both the artist’s range (creepy skeleton prints might be mere steps from a quiet, serene portrait of Mount Fuji) and his marketability."

Above is Kuniyoshi's Ariōmaru Kills a Giant Octopus, circa 1833-1835. In Japanese medieval military chronicles Ariō was a servant of Priest Shunkan who gave particularly loyal service during Shunkan's banishment and death on Kikai island. The inscription in the top right of the picture tells how Ariō killed a giant octopus during his journey to Kikai island to join his master.

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