How Haroshi & Meguru Brought Japanese Spirit to New York

Much in thanks to artist Meguru Yamaguchi, the avant-garde Japanese Gutai movement of the 1950s found a path to Brooklyn, New York. The rising Japanese artist meticulously creates three-dimensional brushstrokes — a new method inspired by the groundbreaking work of Gutai founder Kazuo Shiraga, who propelled unconventional forms of art.

While retaining the Gutai ethos, Yamaguchi evolved his style throughout the years, especially when he touched down in the Big Apple a decade ago. A significant part of his artistic development is due to the advice and mentorship passed on by renowned Japanese artists including skateboard-sculptor Haroshi and contemporary artist, Matzu. In fact, Yamaguchi first met Haroshi seven years ago—a spontaneous encounter that took place in Matzu’s studio when Yamaguchi was working as his assistant.

Yamaguchi and Haroshi’s relationship became stronger ever since that initial meeting. It was a great pleasure to be in the presence of both artists during Haroshi’s solo “GALLERY SHOW” at the new Arsham/Fieg Gallery inside the new KITH store in SoHo, New York. We sat down with the Japanese artists (Haroshi to the left and Yamaguchi to the right as depicted below) to discuss humble beginnings, future projects and how to achieve success as an artist. Read on for key insights and an up-close look at the show, including appearances from KAWS, Daniel Arsham and Ronnie Fieg.

How did your friendship and artistic partnership start?


Meguru Yamaguchi, @meguruyamaguchi We met around seven years ago. Haroshi came to artist Matzu’s studio where I used to work at as an artist assistant. That’s how I met Haroshi and learned about his works. I immediately became a big fan. Three years later, I made a comment on Haroshi’s Instagram and he made a comment back on my Instagram about my works. The relationship grew stronger from there.

Haroshi, @haroshi Hmm, I don’t remember when we met. It’s been a while. Anyhow, When I visited the [Matzu] studio, I wasn’t an artist yet. I was making something, but I didn’t define myself as an artist. I remember Matsu was getting angry at Meguru (laughs). To me, Meguru was already in the early stages of being an artist, and I was also about to build a career as an artist. We were similar in that sense. I’ve been watching Meguru since then.

Describe your mentor-protege relationship. Any important advice and artistic styles that you both share?

@Haroshi He is a very popular artist, so I want to ask him for advice! I want you [Meguru] to teach me! Well, we started from zero, so I’m so happy to see him doing well. If I do very well, I will hook him up with other art people and if he does very well, he will give me a chance to work for art projects. That’s how it works in the art world. We help each other. We started from the bottom, that’s the real street. We are like Capsella bursa-pastris (it’s called Penpen-gusa in Japanese) which grows out of the cracks between concrete blocks.

@MeguruYamaguchi I make something very different from Haroshi. I respect him so much, so I don’t feel I’m eligible to be compared. He is more of like a craftsman who can make something very precise and detailed work, but I am not. I was probably inspired by his style; that’s why I made this new type of artworks which are somehow between sculpture and painting. I realized this now so I’m not sure though, haha!

I used to work at a butcher’s shop, and my colleagues knew about Haroshi—that’s pretty rare that normal people know about artists. Of course, renowned artists like Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo Nara, Kohei Nawa are very influential, but I respect Haroshi who can be a big inspiration for the general public who aren’t very familiar with arts.

Haroshi, can you tell us about the new Guzo pieces here at the Arsham/Fieg gallery?


@Haroshi In Japan, we have Dosojin (a road ancestor kami) and Ojizo-san (a Buddhist monk). They are everywhere on the street. People take them for granted and overlook their existence. Those objects are very interesting to me. I question myself what an iconic figure is and thought my ideal figure would be a skateboard. I was wondering how I can create an idol figure like religious leaders such as Buddha and Christ. I realized that every idol figures went through continuous hardships and discipline, then they understood people’s suffering. When they reached to that point, people started respecting them as an iconic figure.

For me, skateboarding is also similar to those ideal figures who went through the hardships because skaters step on their decks every day and smash them sometimes. If I use those materials to reproduce the artworks—which are similar to Dosojin appearance—then, I thought I can make something ideal for our modern culture. Making a sculptural idol out of those skateboards can be a good reflection to those traditional iconic figures.

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Source: Hypebeast

Jordan Brand Reveals Air Jordan 32 "Why Not" Edition

Following the announcement of the special Air Jordan 11 packs for this year’s Holiday Season, Jordan Brand has also showcased its upcoming “Why Not” edition of the Air Jordan 32. The Russell Westbrook inspired iteration boasts the Thunder’s striking blue coloring throughout its entire upper with complementary orange detailing found on the midsole’s Jumpman logo and “Wings” logo found on the tongue. To complement its Flight Speed technology, the sneaker is supported by a translucent outsole with “Why Not?” text under it. The same repeated “Why Not?” graphic can also be found on the Air Jordan 32’s insole for a final touch.

The Air Jordan 32 “Why Not” is slated to retail for $185 USD with an expected date of November 22.

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Source: Hypebeast

Rex Orange County Drops New "Loving Is Easy" Single & Video

Tyler, The Creator-cosigned artist Rex Orange County enlists Benny Sings for his latest major single and music video.

Titled “Loving Is Easy,” Rex Orange County’s new record receives its public online debut courtesy of a stop-motion, claymation visual put together by Chris Ullens. Premiered as the “Hottest Record In The World” on Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 program, “Loving Is Easy” follows up its creator’s recently-released debut studio album, April’s Apricot Princess.

You can view the official video for Rex Orange County’s new, Benny Sings-assisted single “Loving Is Easy” above. In between this and his recent, high-profile live performance with Skepta, Rex Orange County stands poised to enter the coming months as one of the most vibrant and creative young singer-songwriters England currently has to offer.

For those seeking to experience Rex Orange County’s music live, make sure to check him out when he hits the stage at this year’s Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival event in Los Angeles.


Source: Hypebeast

Kendrick Lamar Lends YG Hootie an Assist on "The City"

When it comes to helping out and collaborating with other artists from his hometown, Kendrick Lamar can be counted on to lend a helping hand when the time comes to press “Record” and hit the booth. Even lesser-known, aspiring Compton rappers like Hitta J3 — who also appeared on the To Pimp a Butterfly cover — have received a lyrical blessing from the Top Dawg superstar. Further aiding the local scene, Kendrick Lamar takes a break from riding the high generated by the wave of acclaim and success surrounding his latest album DAMN. to reconnect with YG Hootie for “The City.”

Previously, Kendrick Lamar teamed up with YG Hootie to spit bars relating to Malcolm X and Martin Luther King on 2013’s “Two Presidents.” This time around, the two emcees immortalize the Compton streets that made them the men they are by joining forces for “The City.” Featuring production from Mike WiLL Made-It and Eardrummers affiliate DJ FU, “The City” is a celebration of the Compton lifestyle.

You can stream YG Hootie and Kendrick Lamar’s “The City” above. Next up, you can expect to find Kendrick Lamar overseas as he sets his sights on touring Europe.


Source: Hypebeast

Sneakersnstuff Premieres a Premium Reebok Club C 85

Sweden’s Sneakersnstuff and Reebok have reunited to drop a Reebok Club C 85 Premium. The retooled footwear boasts some subtle detailing and a premium leather upper.

Offered in an understated, eggshell colorway, the Sneakersnstuff x Reebok Club C 85 Premium removes the original shoe’s side branding, furthering the model’s versatile simplicity. A premium leather upper is set upon the classic rubber sole, and features tonal shoelaces to match. The tongue and rear of the sneaker displays Sneakersnstuff’s “SNS” branding and Reebok’s logo in shiny gold, but otherwise, the off-white color scheme throughout the minimal silhouette.

The Sneakersnstuff x Reebok Club C 85 Premium releases October 14. In the meantime, take a look at the recent Club C Overbranded, Ultraknit and Voodoo iterations.

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Source: Hypebeast