Published by Walther König, Köln. Edited by Kenichi Abe. Text by Hiroko Ikegami, Shinji Nanzuka, Keiichi Tanaami.
This collection of collages by Tokyo pop artist Keiichi Tanaami (born 1936) presents a thrilling 1960s barrage of weaponry, superheroes and movie stars. Tanaami was on the edges of Tokyo's postwar avant-garde, and a 1968 encounter with Andy Warhol spurred him to explore mediums ranging from posters and album covers to prints and animations. The variety, skill and number of these works surprise all the more since collage has not been widely known as Tanaami's favored medium—and indeed these collages, undated but believed to have been made in the late '60s and early '70s, were never intended to be exhibited (unlike Tanaami's better-known illustrations and animations). Text by Tanaami accompanies the more than 200 collages in this bewildering collection.
Perfect Cherry Blossom presents the first and long-awaited collaboration between British artist Oliver Payne and Japanese pop artist Keiichi Tanaami. For this new series, Payne has reworked original drawings by Tanaami, adding stickers featuring motifs from Japanese "bullet hell" games. This subgenre of "shoot 'em ups" is special in that the games are not only beautiful, chaotic and psychedelic, but they represent a niche in the world of hardcore arcade shooter games that could be considered the pure video games par excellence. Unlike most popular game genres that borrow from cinema and current pop culture in general, bullet hell games are self-enclosed worlds concerned exclusively with their own, often very complicated, systems and rules. For Payne, the driving force in these games is "pattern": the patterns of "bullet curtains," for example. Gamers memorize the patterns of movement through a level and learn to recognize patterns in the behavior of the enemy boss. These patterns can be very pretty and very complicated. Tanaami was the first art director of the Japanese edition of Playboy magazine. He designed record covers for The Monkees and Jefferson Airplane, in which he fused elements of American and Japanese pop art. Payne and Tanaami, who knew and admired each other's work for years, finally met and exchanged artwork. Besides the new collages, the book presents an interview with Payne and Tanaami by Fredi Fischli and Niels Olsen discussing the origins of their collaboration.
Published by Walther König, Köln. Edited by Momoko Fukurama, Shinji Nanzuka. Text by Nils Olsen, Fredi Fischli, Yuji Yamashita.
Keiichi Tanaami (born 1936) was a protagonist of Japan’s postwar avant-garde, and one of the first Japanese artists to successfully blend art and commerce. Tanaami’s artwork was appearing in advertisements and magazines as early as 1962, when American Pop art was still in the ascendant. A trip to New York in 1968 provided a transformative encounter with Andy Warhol, which encouraged Tanaami to pursue several paths at once, and he was soon producing poster designs, happenings, prints and album covers, developing an assured, erotic psychedelic style populated with butterfly women, chimneys and breasts (a meeting with Robert Crumb and an appreciation of American underground comics was also significant). Including collage, painting, silkscreen prints and animation, this volume constitutes a catalogue raisonné of Tanaami’s early work of the 60s and 70s. It includes his illustrations for the magazine Shosetsu-gendai, drawings and collages for Art Journal, album covers for the Monkees and Jefferson Airplane, stills from an animation series made for the film festival at Sogetsu Art Center, anti-Vietnam War silkscreen prints and painting series of Hollywood actresses.
Published by Walther König, Köln. Text by Stefano Stoll.
Keiichi Tanaami (born 1936) is one of the most influential artists of Japan’s postwar avant-garde. Among the country’s first video artists, and a member of the Japanese Neo-Dada movement, Tanaami visited New York in the late 1960s and came face to face with the paintings of Andy Warhol. Having worked as a graphic designer, Tanaami was entranced by Warhol’s amalgam of graphic and fine arts, and began to make drawings and collages that blended psychedelic kitsch with traditional Japanese arts, in a style that quickly led to album covers for the Monkees and Jefferson Airplane. This volume collects Tanaami’s erotic, surreal and cartoonish drawings and collages from these years, when the artist was most steeped in American pop culture, just before he became art director for the Japanese Playboy. The dust jacket folds out into a large black-and-white poster.