Land of Mirrors
Keiichi Tanaami is one of the leading pop artists of postwar Japan and has been active as a multi-genre artist since the Protected content as a graphic designer, illustrator, video artist and fine artist.
Themes in his works – a dead goldfish, deformed characters, rays of light, helical pine trees, roaring American bombers, firebombs dropped from planes, fleeing masses, flashes from bombs reflecting in water – reflect images from a world of dreams and childhood memories.
At the height of psychedelic culture and pop art, Tanaami’s kitschy, colorful illustrations and design work received high acclaim in both Japan and abroad. He created album cover art for the legendary bands The Monkees and Jefferson Airplane and, in Protected content , his piece “NO MORE WAR” won top prize in an antiwar poster contest organized by Avant-Garde Magazine.
His series of erotic paintings featuring Hollywood actresses done in the early 70s became an important body of work and Tanaami became known as an artist with a witty eye for American culture.
In Protected content , Tanaami became the first art director of the Japanese edition of Playboy Magazine, “Monthly Playboy”, and went to New York once again to visit Playboy’s head office. The editor there took him to Andy Warhol’s Factory.
Eroticism in Tanami’s works reflects the national culture and color, and the images of young women, with their almost architectural accuracy, are reflected in paintings, films and sculptures.
Among Tanaami’s personal projects are “Hammer Projects: Oliver Payne and Keiichi Tanaami” at Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA; “No More War” at Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin, Germany Protected content at Art 42 Basel Protected content and “Still in Dream” at Frieze Art Fair Protected content .
Tanaami’s works can be found in museums and institutions such as MoMA (USA), Tate Modern (UK), Stedelijk Museum (Netherlands), The Art Institute of Chicago (USA), National Portrait Gallery (USA), Friedrich Christian Flick Collection (Switzerland), M+ Museum for Visual Culture (Hong Kong), Kawasaki City Museum (Japan), and Dresden Museum of Modern Art (Germany).
Now we can see Tanaami's works in Moscow as part of the international bienniale of contemporary art and the "Japanese autumn" project.
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