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Aiko Nakagawa (Japanese, b.1975)
LOT ID: 70458
A Lady With Tattoo, 2011

Acrylic, Mixed Media, Spray Paint, Oil Stick, on canvas
56 х 50 in. (142.24 x 127 cm.)
Signed, inscribed, on front. Signed again on verso, inscribed.
Lot description
“A Lady With Tattoo” (2011) is the first large-scale painting on canvas to come to world-wide auction by internationally acclaimed female street artist, Aiko Nakagawa (Japan, b. 1975). This painting comes to the Sale directly from the Studio of the Artist, NY and is in excellent condition. Known as AIKO, this painting represents the artist at her best and most accomplished, with the work combining provocative urban pop-culture iconography with child-like and overtly sexual feminine embellishments that have made her famous. "A Lady With Tattoo" is a mixed media painting that brilliantly incorporates spray-paint, stenciled graffiti, pastiche-style collage, and hand-painted details that make this work a true a tour-de-force by the artist, combining a representational and text-based vocabulary of delicate innocence with totems of urban decay.

This dialectic is seen here for example, in the balance of the gritty black and white photograph of a nude woman kneeling down, wearing nothing more than Aiko's iconic "Butterfly Mask" and a sunhat, her image repeated twice, framing the naive image of the woman painted at center, undressed to the waist, to reveal a large, colorful tattoo on her back of a traditional Japanese scene with a man and woman in sexual embrace--Aiko cannot resist sneaking in a can of spray paint into the woman's hand. Her color palette however is anything but traditional, but is a neo-Pop palette of bright red, orange, blue, purple and green, these super-saccharine colors grounded by heavy black outlining and details, including her stenciled signature 'AIKO' which she places on the nape of the tattooed woman's neck, as well as words in English, Japanese and Spanish, all brilliantly integrated into the composition.

Exhibiting on her own since 2008, Nakagawa’s influence has risen as one of the foremost female urban artists of her generation and in 2009 was selected as one of the 15 most influential of mural artists of today by Jeffrey Deitch (MOCA Director, former owner of Deitch Projects, NY). She began her career as an artist assistant to Takashi Murakami in Tokyo, Japan then moved to New York, where she was one of the three founders of the famous artist collective FAILE, formed with Patrick Miller and Patrick McNeil in 1999. This May 2012 Aiko was formally commissioned for large scale mural at the elite Standard Hotel in Los Angeles, US and is constantly exhibited by top galleries in Asia, Europe, UK and the US, represented by Andrew James Fine Art in China and Andenken Gallery in Amsterdam, Holland. The artist lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
A Lady With Tattoo by Aiko Nakagawa
  • A Lady With Tattoo by Aiko Nakagawa
  • A Lady With Tattoo by Aiko Nakagawa
  • A Lady With Tattoo by Aiko Nakagawa
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