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MR.
Untitled, 2012
acrylic on canvas
68.19 x 41.38 x 2.09 inches
173.2 x 105.1 x 5.3 cm...

MR.
I Was Born In a Town On A Hill, 2010
watercolor and pencil on paper
16.54 x 11.69 inches

MR.
Shimmering Heat Haze, 2009
acrylic on canvas
35.43 x 24.61 inches
90 x 62.5 cm

MR.
Glancing at your cheeks / I can start to feel my heart / change just like the leaves, 2009
acryli...

MR.
The Day Is Getting Long, 2009
acrylic on canvas
35.43 x 24.61 inches
90 x 62.5 cm

MR.
As I close my eyes, I see the distant Arakawa River, the faraway sky, 2008
acrylic on canvas

MR.
8:32 am, 2008
watercolor and pencil on paper
14.92 x 10.94 inches (paper)
37.9 x 27.8 cm
19 x 15...

MR.
Field Day, 2008
watercolor and pencil on paper
14.96 x 10.91 inches (paper)
38 x 27.7 cm
19 x 15...

You Girls, 2007
acrylic on canvas
63.82 x 89.53 x 1.34 inches
(c) 2007 MR./Kaikai Kiki., Ltd. All Rights Res...

MR.
I know her secret, 2007
acrylic on canvas
66.9 x 27.8 inches
170 x 70.5 cm
(c) 2007 Mr. /Kaikai ...

MR.
Ah, Akihabara, 2007
acrylic on canvas
114.6 x 286.3 inches
291 x 727.2 cm
(c) 2007 Mr. /Kaikai K...

MR.
It hurts when it hits bare skin, 2007
acrylic on canvas
70.9 x 141.7 inches
180 x 360 cm
(c) 200...

MR.
Look at how much we raised!, 2007
acrylic on canvas
44.09 x 57.28 inches
112 x 145.5 cm
LM10490<...

MR.
Fund-raising for the heart– Maid café, 2007
acrylic on canvas
66.9 x 27.8 inches
170 x 70.5 cm
(...

First time ever, 2007
acrylic on canvas
39.4 x 31.6 inches
(c) 2007 MR./Kaikai Kiki., Ltd. All Rights Reserv...

A field close to heaven– Dreams and Reality, 2007
acrylic on canvas
66.9 x 27.8 inches
(c) 2007 MR./Kaikai K...

MR.
Hiromi and Nau's Summer, 2007
acrylic on canvas
46 x 36 inches
116.8 x 91.4 cm
(c) 2007 Mr. /Kai...

MR.
Strawberry Voice, 2007
FRP, iron, various materials
116.14 x 104.72 x 112.6 inches
295 x 266 x 286 c...

MR.
Young Sister - Very Nice - Fruit, 2006
acrylic on tarp
99.02 x 139.37 inches
251.5 x 354 cm
(c) ...

MR.
"Penyo-Henyo" Spring Breeze Edition "Buddies", 2004-2007
Fiberglass, steel, acrylic resin, iron, various fab...

New Tokyo Ferry Terminal (Ariake 4-chrome), 2004-2005
39.37 x 57.87 x 69.69 inches
(c) 2004 MR./Kaikai Kiki., Lt...

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Artist Bio

Mr.

Mr. (b. 1969, Cupa, Japan, lives and works in Tokyo) born Masakatsu Iwamoto, took his pseudonym from the popular postwar baseball player, Shigeo Nagashima. Nagashima was given the name Mister Giants because of his tendency to mix English and Japanese in humorous ways. Mr.’s work similarly fuses English and Japanese languages, imagery, and pop culture references to create a dialogue between these two distinct cultures. Though he uses global references, Mr. is aligned with the Superflat movement and utilizes  otaku, the "cute" Japanese subculture that is marked by an obsession with adolescence, manga, anime, and video games. Like his fellow Superflat artists, such as Takashi Murakami, Mr. approaches the visual language of anime and manga as a means of examining Japanese culture, fusing high and low forms of contemporary expression. Prior to 2010, Mr. often incorporated into his work the hypersexualized portrayal of young women prevalent in otaku. Known in Japan as “lolicon,” a portmanteau of “Lolita Complex,” this word has come to refer to the otaku preference for graphic anime images of young girls. In the years since the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear reactor meltdown in Tohoku, Japan, however, Mr. began to move away from the cute characters, bright colors, and clean finishes characteristic of his work. He has since gravitated toward a gritty and abstract painting style reminiscent of his early work inspired by the 1960s Italian art movement Arte Povera, through which he explores themes of destruction. In his exhibition with Lehmann Maupin in 2012 and at the Seattle Art Museum in 2015, Mr. presented a large-scale,  immersive installation of garbage and everyday objects from Japanese life, standing as a remainder of the debris that blanketed Tohoku in the aftermath of the 2011 disaster. Viewers were invited to physically interact with the work, getting a glimpse into the psychological state of Japan while remaining alien to the experience. Since then, Mr. has extended this sentiment into his paintings, trampling, tearing and burning his canvases to give his surfaces a distressed, textured quality, often at odds with the innocence of the bright-eyed cartoon figures he paints on top.

 

Mr. graduated from the Department of Fine Arts, Sokei Art School in Tokyo in 1996. Solo exhibitions of his work have been organized at Seattle Art Museum, WA (2014); and Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon, France (2006). Select group exhibitions featuring his work include Animamix Biennale 2015-2016, Daegu Art Museum, South Korea (2015-16); Kyoto-Tokyo: From Samurais to Mangas, Grimaldi Forum, Monaco (2010); Animate, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan (2009); KRAZY! The Delirious World of Anime + Comics + Video Games + Art, Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada (2008); RED HOT: Asian Art Today from the Chaney Family Collection, Museum of Fine Arts Houston (2007); and Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture, Japan Society, New York (2005). Mr.'s work is in numerous international public and private collections, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Seattle Art Museum, and Daegu Art Museum, South Korea.