tokyo: organic contrast

© diesel japan

a self-taught artist who emerged in tokyo's underground music scene in the early 1990s, usugrow continues to show his creative relevance with an evolving body of work that largely draws inspiration from the morbid side of life, or rather, death. in the early days of his career internet hadn't yet intruded everyone's life, and bands would send each other demo tapes through snail mail, manuscripts and papers were sent by fax, and concert flyers were mass produced with copy machines. it was within this old school context that usugrow's art first flourished, making illustrations for t-shirts and selling these in person. as he developed a strong signature style, he crossed over to art world and eventually gained global recognition with international art shows.

usugrow's artwork couples a dynamic and delicate pointillism and line work depicting a motif of skulls and flowers, with an original calligraphic style, lending beauty and serenity to topics that are usually seen as negative. currently on at diesel art gallery in shibuya, an exhibition venue that's very much in touch with the local creative scene, is usugrow's first solo exhibition on home turf in ten years. entitled organic contrast, it's a large-scale showcase which allows visitors a peek into his creative process, displaying rough sketches, in addition to nearly 40 artworks, including his pieces that show off his signature pointillism style, as well as calligraphy, and a new ink brush style [on through nov 13]. location: cocoti building, 1-23-16-b1 shibuya [shibuya].

© diesel japan