Dr. Seuss meets Tim Burton is one of the many ways to describe the psychedelic artwork of Japanese artist Yoshi47. His signature motif is a deranged, smiling (but also sometimes frowning) sun with a mouthful of teeth that reminds you of the Cheshire Cat.
After growing up in Japan, at the age of 20 Yoshi47 moved to California for several years where he studied break dancing and graffiti culture. It was in the Bay Area where his love for the outdoors also grew and he became an avid bicycler and surfer.
At one point in his career Yoshi47 got swept up in the world of bike-riding and almost lost interest in making art. It was a serious accident and a fractured shoulder that literally knocked him off his path. His long road to recovery eventually re-ignited his career as a productive artist. But his passion for exploration and the great outdoors is apparent in his work, which includes murals, acrylics, watercolors and installations. But whatever the format, Yoshi47’s paint brush seems to go on its own adventure, sometimes spiraling out of control.
As an artist, Yoshi47 has collaborated with brands like Stussy, Kidrobot, Starbucks and Jansports. But this year he’s been preoccupied with his own work, and is preparing for an ambitious dual-exhibition. One of his primary muses is human greed and desire. To further explore that concept, from June 3 – June 18,2017 he’s staging one exhibition titled #無料欲望 (“Free Greed”). For the show he’s prepared 300 artworks drawn on USPS mailing supplies, which are free at any post office in the U.S. Visitors will be welcome to take the artwork for free.
In tandem with that show Yoshi47 is also staging “Internal Nature” (June 1 – June 30, 2017), an exhibition of 12 new watercolor paintings he’s made specifically for this show. The 12 works represent 12 months throughout the year and portray changes, both in season, but also internal changes within the artist as time progresses forward.