contemporary art

Madsaki /   Unknown

Japan 1974

Urban Art, Street Art, Installation, Sculpture, Design

March 9, 2015

Madsaki is a Japanese artist whose aesthetic sensibility oscillates between the different cultural influences that have shaped him. His style can range from bright and cartoony, to hard and abstract.

Born in Osaka in 1974, raised in New Jersey, and schooled in New York City, Madsaki’s prolific career began when he traveled to the American south with the Barnstormers – an influential artist collective. Madsaki eventually returned to Japan, where he went on to become one of the most successful artists and designers in the country.

Madsaki graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York. Since the beginning of his career as an artist, Madsaki has shown us numerous styles ranging from extremely detailed drawings to large scale sculptures and installations. Recently his style underwent dramatic change where provocative words and phrases now play a center role. Despite of this change, Madsaki continuously observes the society and everyday life from a distinct perspective, reinterprets and reconstructs the extracted essences into his own work.

He has published how-to’s in the style of a tourist guidebook for correctly using bitch and fuck, collaborated with notable Japanese Designer Jun Takahashi, designed textiles with KAWS, and made a hybrid instrument out of an African kalimba and an electric metal guitar.

As many artists have done in the past with phrases and words, what Madsaki portrays through his works cannot be categorized as a simple ‘slander’, but is a form of ‘reconfigured phrases’ easily surpassing the symbolic meanings of the original words to satirize and banter the society we live in, while arising many questions. His ‘phrases’, at times roughly written, question the viewers if what they see should be taken for granted, or if it is something that should be deeply interpreted. Even further the viewers are pushed to the point where they have to depend on their sense of values if what they are facing is even a work of ‘art’ or not. Through his works Madsaki challenges and stirs the stereotype values of various systems we encounter in daily life.

In addition to his artwork, Madsaki has worked on countless collaborations, designing shoes, bicycles, skis, eyewear, apparels, concept shops, and pretty much everything else you can think of. He’s teamed up Disney, Adidas Originals, and the influential fashion designer of Undercover, Jun Takahashi.

Madsaki currently lives and works in Tokyo.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumGroup/Solo
2014Oodles Of DoodlesClear Edition & Gallery, Tokyo, JapanSolo
2014SIDE CORE - Expression of Public AreaShibuya Seibu, Tokyo, JapanGroup
2014Beast from a Foreign LandHPGRP Gallery, Tokyo, JapanGroup
2013Write Here, Write NowClear Edition & Gallery, Tokyo, JapanSolo
2013TOKYO STREETIkkan Art International, SingaporeGroup
2012In BetweenClear Edition & Gallery, Tokyo, JapanSolo
2010The BarnstormersJoshua Liner Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2009All Day I Dream About SunsexClear Gallery, Tokyo, JapanSolo
2008Pressure (RVCA x CINELLI)VASF Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2007All Day I Dream About SunsexMeguro Rice Factory, Tokyo, JapanSolo
2005Hysteric Mini 20th AnniversaryHysteric Glamour, Tokyo, JapanGroup
2005The Last for the PlaceGas-Dyezu Gallery, Tokyo, JapanGroup
2005What Happened to PeaceParco Museum, Tokyo, JapanGroup
2004Garden of Re-creationRiviera Gallery, Brooklyn, NYSolo
2004FAQQTransplant Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2004Better TomorrowSupreme Trading Annex, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2004Small Works by Big PeopleCarlos Irizarry Gallery, Puetro RicoGroup
20032 in 1Gas-Dyezu Experiment, Tokyo, JapanSolo
2003Escale a ParisiHalle Saint Pierre Museum, Paris, FranceGroup
2003Bad Touch V.5Rose Museum, Boston, MAGroup
2003150 T-ShirtsDaniel Silverstein Galley, New York, NYGroup
2001No Condition is PermanentSmack Mellon, Brooklyn, NYGroup