Friday, July 23, 2004
As most of my friends know from my persistent, slightly tipsy emails, last night (Thursday) I hopped on a Kansai-bound Shinkansen (a Hikari, as my pass doesn't cover the Nozomi model) around 19:00 and hopped over to Kyoto for the evening. Actually, I was still reeling from the two weeks that I spent in China. I'll have to update on that later this week!
During the ultra-smooth ride, I listened to TTC and also a lot of Chinese techno music, and I spilled my lemon chuhai on the high-heel shoes of the pretty young thing who was sitting next to me, and inadvertently made a nice new...err...friend. I'll have to remember that one as a good icebreaker.
Anyway, the reason I was sneaking over to Kyoto is that I had a meeting set up with a very young, very cute, very 'Kansai' artist Misaki Kawai. From what she told me, she's been in NYC for about a year or so on an artist's visa and her art pays the rent. Oh yeah, that DOES happen sometimes in America, doesn't it!
Misaki's stuff is...I'm groping for the right words here...fluffy, plush, oversized, Muppet-like, superflat, pendulous, pinataesque. Here are a few pics that'll help me quit while I'm ahead.
Her beau Taylor McKimens, was there too. Taylor is the kind of guy who makes me wish I was back in America with friends just like him. (He's the one with the High Life Burger T-shirt on in the picture below.) Going by the printed material that he gave me, here's his profile: Born in 1976, and grew up in Winterhaven California, a small desert town on the border of Mexico. His work has been featured at New Image in LA and White Columns in NYC.
Taylor's stuff is...well, actually much harder for me to pin down, what with my limited art vocabulary and such. Why not just take a look for yourself!
These two kids are currently living and working together in NYC, and were on vacation in Japan. As of today, they should be back in the U. S. of A. and there they are currently super hot shit in the art world! Of course, the fact that they are totally down to earth and a super couple only adds that much more pleasure to being with them.
They were kind enough to pick me up at a VERY local train station about 25 min. outside of Kyoto, and have me over. The post-dinner fare, prepared by none other than Misaki's charming mom, was superb. I really like they way Kansai moms act. They kind of remind me of Georgia mothers. It was a very homey atmosphere, and I was totally relaxed as I burned the midnight oil with Misaki and Taylor over drinks.
So I'll be doing an extensive interview with them sometime soon, probably jetting over to the Big Apple and pestering them at their studio for a few days. I'm not sure where exactly the interview will be published at this point, but hopefully one of the rags that I right for will have enough good sense to pick it up! Anyhoo, I'm sure it will be great getting to know this kids! Stay tuned for more...