NANZUKA is pleased to announce the upcoming solo exhibition of new works by American artist Todd James (and 2x Juxtapoz cover artist). This will be Todd James' 2nd solo show in the gallery. And for all our collectible collectors out there, NANZUKA will release Todd James' first plush toy “Tit Wizard”, in conjunction with the show.
Todd James is known as one of the representative artists from the '80s and '90s street art scene in New York. A participant in the graffiti scene since his mid-teens, he is also known by his tag name REAS and has had an enormous effect on people of his generation around the world as a symbol of the driving force behind the underground culture of the time. The exhibition "Street Market" held at the Deitch Project gallery in NY in 2000 spread his fame into the formal art scene. In the exhibition, James joined with Barry McGee and Stephen Powers, who both went on to become international stars, to recreate a New York alleyway, covered in graffiti, on a massive scale. The exhibition was shown at the US Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2001 and later travelled as far as the Parco Museum in Tokyo, stirring up a worldwide sensation. His international reputation continues to grow such as solo exhibition at Lazarides in Lodnon (2015) or featured in “The Bridges of Graffiti” of 56th Venice Biennale.
James' works are characterized by his use of innocent lines and forms along with colorful palate recalling the drawing style of children. This particular style, while possibly in part being influenced by UPA (United Productions of America) animations, is an expression of his creative worldview. The central theme of his work is the contradiction between the familiarity that is at first apparent on the surface and the loaded tongue-in-cheek criticism of the under side of contemporary society. The central theme of his work is the contradiction between the familiarity that is at first apparent on the surface and the loaded tongue-in-cheek criticism of the under side of contemporary society. A tank smoking a cigarette, a naked woman with a machine gun and a skeleton, anthropomorphic fighter planes romping about innocently like children, a woman in a bathing suit playing in a pool of blood; motifs like these appear repeatedly throughout James' works. A mash up of politics humor and the everyday busting through a cartoon filter each work is simply an assemblage of images created by adapting the information that streams out of TV shows and newspapers on a daily basis.