“I never used Excel at work but I saw other people making pretty graphs and thought, ‘I could probably draw with that,’” says 73-year old Tatsuo Horiuchi. About 13 years ago, shortly before retiring, Horiuchi decide he needed a new challenge in his life. So he bought a computer and began experimenting with Excel. “Graphics software is expensive but Excel comes pre-installed in most computers,” explained Horiuchi. “And it has more functions and is easier to use than [Microsoft] Paint.”*
Horiuchi also tried working with Microsoft Word but it didn’t offer the flexibility that Excel did. “Take that, Wall St. analysts,” he later added. (not really)
*all quotes have been translated by the author.
[update] we have begun selling limited edition prints by Tatsuo Horiuchi in our shop.
Horiuchi first gained attention when, in 2006, he entered an Excel Autoshape Art Contest. His work, which was far-superior than the other entries, blew the judges away. Horiuchi took first place and went on to create work that has been acquired by his local Gunma Museum of Art.
Don’t believe these were made in Excel? You can even download the excel file and play around with it yourself: