'Madonna and child: Dr Dre and EMINEM' is a luscious
painting in gold and deep blues. As precious as any eastern European religious
icon and painted with as much skill and meticulous care, it is a highlight
from Eyesaw's most recent exhibition. This iconic painting of rappers
is by Brooklyn N.Y. based artist, Tom Sanford. His work not only immortalizes
these rappers as icons but goes to the core of racial stereotyping, 'black
faces are for rap stars but not religious iconography'. Sanford's stunning
images of rappers, surrounded by ornate gold frames and Roman lettering,
reverse this clich? and sting with their unfamiliarity.
Eyesaw is a collective of artists who work to promote and exhibit art
in Tokyo. With a strong interest in Multi-media, Eyesaw has organized
12 art events. Eyesaw's most recent outing of artists is another successful
adventure. With a painting and sculpture component of 13 artists and another
8 or so doing multi-media works, Eyesaw has drawn together a diverse group
of artists from Tokyo and around the world.
In contrast to the controlled austerity of Stanford's iconic paintings
is the work of local Tokyo artist, AKIRA. His large and expressive work
'Point of no return' is a textually rich and freely painted self-portrait.
A humorous yet poetic odyssey, seen through the eyes of garden bugs, is
the subject of Martin Bromirski's quirky series 'One day in the garden'.
Bromirski's mixed media work incorporates various 'washi' (papers) joined
to create a sensuous surface on which he paints, draws and writes. It
is an intricate and captivating work.
A dress and hat made entirely of ginko leaves by UK artist Lois Rowe was
another delicate work exploring the natural world. Rowe's piece seemed
both to have been made and worn by fairy-like creatures from a fantasy
Shoji Asaba's video installation explores a theme pursued by a number
of contemporary video artists, surveillance. However, Asaba's installation
differs by its novel use of time lapse and a sequence of tracking cameras.
This allows us to look back, across multiple screens, at our feet as we
entered the space. Like a movie flash back, we are reminded of our immediate
The top floor of the three floors of exhibition space is given solely
to the tattoo artist Permanent Mark. His paintings, woodcarvings and photography
are a nostalgic mix of cute and tough. Fighting slogans, 'he who dares
wins' and Lollipop gals, recall WWII marines and an era when women only
sat on the back of motorcycles. It seems that what's 'in' on the skin
is retro and macho.
Each Eyesaw exhibition also includes a multi-media event and party. This
event included a range of audiovisuals artists including sound and visuals
by Masa Kobayashi and Ryo Inoue, as well as Australian artists Aylie McDowall's
animations and Lisa Hilli's slides. The next Eyesaw event happens on September
24 Ð 29 at Galerie Le Deco Shibuya.