A boy sits on a miniscule tatami (a mat) on the second floor of a miniature house, gazing at the Pacific Ocean. A kitten sleeps on a pillow. Sounds of waves and wind chimes wash over a bicycle and tobacco box obscured by shadow on the ground floor. It’s a summer day in Japan.
The self-taught painter Ryoichi Miura (b. Japan 1956-) dreamed, in black and white, the scene painted in “Summer Winds”. He met us last week at the Harvard Club of New York City and over a summertime special of chilled avocado soup recounted his inspiration for the painting. “I wanted to color the scene. It was so unique to me because I had never seen a monochrome dream”. He just closed the show “Summer: Gallery and Invited Artists” (July 28-Aug. 15) at the Prince Street Gallery in New York.
A dreamy, deformé style epitomizes Ryoichi’s paintings. His signature and contemporary aesthetic is rooted in Garo, a monthly manga (comics) magazine (Seirindo, Japan, 1964-2002). “A big brother of my friend showed me the issue of July 1968 when I visited their home. I saw Ernest Hemingway’s The Killers, a comic {book} by Maki Sasaki. I was totally shocked and I could not move at all!”
Miura immediately asked his mother to subscribe to the magazine. When the bookstore hand-delivered his first issue, as was the norm in the 1960s, Miura jumped from the bathtub and ran dripping, merely covered by a towel, to receive it from the delivery man.
Ryoichi became an artist from that point. He drew his first manga, and brought it to school. His teacher read it aloud in the classroom. He still feels pride that everyone in the classroom, including his teacher, admired the art. Miura painted his first oil painting when he was 13, and has painted ever since. One of his earliest paintings still hangs in the principal’s room of his junior high school, Miura proudly recounts, 46 years later. Miura is now 59.
The earliest influence from manga is delightfully visible in his current art. Illustrations in his children’s book, Kids in N.Y. (Kaiseisha, Japan, 2003), are eerily angled, imbalanced, falling. “New York City is always moving. I wanted to express its movement and speed of the city.”
Miura is the Edward Hopper (American, 1882-1967) of his moment in New York City. Like Hopper, Miura’s paintings are lonely, urban, stark, transitory, estranged, anxious and tightly cropped. Yet Miura is hotter, faster, and more emotional.
Miura, above all, wants to communicate emotion. “I see a scene that gives me an emotional response,” he said. “I want the viewers of my paintings to feel this moment of emotion, the color, the movement.” His medium is important to his message. “I can express it [emotion, color, and movement] only because I am using oil, not camera.” Only with oil and the texture of paint, for example, does he believe that he could paint the smile of a woman, what became his favorite painting, in vermillion red. He says he will never be able to paint such a piece again, and has refused to sell it to buyers.
Ms. Tamiko Sadasue purchased “Summer Winds” in 2013 at the Prince Street Gallery because it symbolizes old Japan – a simpler time after World War II when she was a young girl and Japan had a dream. The painting hangs in Kanagawa Japan at the head office of her company, Kamakura Shirts, as a symbol of Japan’s dream of a prosperous future linked to a simpler, Hopperesque past.
While other artists chase new media, Miura sees value in the classical medium of oil. “I need to wait for 2 weeks for drying, always takes long, need to make tremendous efforts to finish a work. That is valuable for me, especially because we are living in such a convenient world,” says Miura. “I have many more objects and themes I want to paint. Through my paintings, I would like to show my own worlds with my own colors and textures to the people.“
Miura’s dream of painting color into the black and white, proceeds apace with the speed of New York City.
Anders Corr, Ph.D., founded Corr Analytics in 2013. Ms. Kyoko Sato is a curator in New York City.
Tagged: Anders Corr, Edward Hopper, Japan, Kamakura Shirts, Kamakura Shirts Collection, Kanagawa Japan, Maki Sasaki, Prince Street Gallery, RYOICHI MIURA, Tamiko Sadamatsu, Tamiko Sadasue


Harrison Summer

自作カードもできてきましたー。展覧会の時は、ギャラリーが作ってくれるオフィシャルな案内状のカードとは別に、こんなふうに自分の作品で印刷した案内 カードも作ってます。絵が売れちゃってもイメージが残るように。ある意味、愛するものとの決別の儀式かな。大袈裟か。でも、そんな気分も少々ある。実際、 カードにもなってなくて、いなくなっちゃったのがいっぱいいるしね。new new invitationcard


東京国際映画祭、アジア初披露された日本酒をテーマにした映画【KANPAI】の小西未来監督(左端)と映画評論家の成田陽子さん、本紙「イケメン服飾」執筆の青木ケンさん(右端)とNYダウンタウンのコンラッドホテルで取材というか会食後のスナップ(昨晩)。映画はNYでは8月19日に劇場封切りだそうです。会食では映画の話はもちろん、青木さんの世相を切る「世界陰謀説」「軍服の美学」などなど楽しい話で盛り上がりました。7月12日 2016年IMG_0334







印刷所で紙面の確認、色合わせの立ち会いをしているところです。日本から米大統領選挙NY予備選取材の出張できていたジャーナリストの堀田佳男さんが印刷 所を見学したというので同行。昨晩写真を撮ってくれました。おお、真面目に仕事している図ではないですか。私もこんなふうにけなげに真面目にやっていた時 があったんだなあって、あとで思えるような写真ですねえ。10年くらいしてこの写真見たらきっと懐かしく思うんだろうな、って思ったけど、いま考えてみた ら12年前もここで同じことやってたわ・・・・。







コードバンのウィングチップの靴にジーンズはだめだとずっと思っていたのですが、最近はジャケットにタイ、そしてジーンズというのが楽なのか、マンハッタンのビジネスマン もそんな格好です。でも靴はコードバンはさすがに無理だと思ってずっと履かないでいたのですが、靴箱から引っぱり出してみたら、やっぱりいい靴は履き心地 がいい。来週号の週刊NY生活で服飾評論家のケン青木さんがコードバンについて書いてくれたのでこの写真を使わせてもらいました。堅牢で長持ちなんですよ ね。コードバンにジーンズもいるみたい。磨いたら綺麗になったし、当分これでいくことにしました。