Yoshitomo Nara Japanese artist sitting in his studio with paintings

Pioneering figure in contemporary art whose signature style.

Celebrating the introspective freedom of the imagination.

Yoshitomo Nara, Miss Spring, 2021 For Sale - Lougher Contemporary

b. 1959

Yoshitomo Nara

Yoshitomo Nara’s deceptively simple paintings, sculptures, and drawings draw on the pop culture aesthetics of manga, Walt Disney cartoons, and punk rock. The artist populates his work with alternately adorable and sinister child characters, who run amok in flat backgrounds rendered with simple bold lines and solid hues. Nara explores imagination and the individual, and his more complex canvases consider the intersection of figure and ground. Nara received his MFA from Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music and has exhibited in Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and beyond. His work belongs to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Rubell Collection, the Museum of Modern Art, the Long Museum, the Aomori Museum of Art, and many other collections. Nara’s paintings have sold for seven figures on the secondary market.


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About the artist

Perhaps Japan’s best known living artist, Yoshitomo Nara’s art is instantly recognisable. His iconic yet seemingly simple paintings, sculptures and drawings take influence from cartoons, music and his own life. Best known are his paintings of children; sometimes sad, sometimes sinister, these figures enjoy a global cult popularity and following, and reflective market pricing.

Born and raised in northern Japan, Nara is said to have had a lonely childhood, seeking comfort in music and animals. After pursuing a fine art education in Japan, Nara relocated to Germany from 1988 and became absorbed by Neo-Expressionism and punk rock. Both would go on to inform his artistic style.

After 12 years in Germany, Nara returned to Japan. The artist first enjoyed notoriety as a part of his home country’s Pop Art movement of the 1990s, creating simple artworks depicting cartoon-like characters.

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