But like any genre or style, there is the broad, lemming-like, unthinking mob adopting the form, and a brilliant few kernels of originality and daring that inform the trend.
Yoshitomo Nara is not someone I was familiar with, but his influence is everywhere: he is the anti-Hello Kitty artist who swims in the same pool of twee. From the complex girls of Hayao Miyazaki’s brilliant animated films to (the not-so brilliant) Hit-Girl from “Kick Ass”, the angsty pre-teen female has become a cultural trope. In Japan and much of East Asia this character is usually commercialized into bovine vulgarity, with undercurrents of social control that tell young women exactly where their place belongs. Continue reading “Life is only one”