Yoshitomo Nara - Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Thursday, November 15, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Johnen + Schöttle, Cologne
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Helsinki, Helsinki City Art Museum, Art Museum Tennis Palace, Japan Pop, September 9 – November 27, 2005
    Essen, Museum Folkwang, Rockers Island, May 5 – July 1 2 007

  • Literature

    N. Miyamura and S. Suzuki, ed., Yoshitomo Nara: The Complete Works, cat. no. P-2004-012. San Francisco, 2011, p. 193 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    In a picture book you have a single image that can contain an entire narrative and I think this is a style of visual story telling that I have really learned a lot from and have been influenced by.


    (Yoshitomo Nara, in N. Hegert “Interview with Yoshitomo Nara,” ARTslant, September 2010).

    Yoshitomo Nara’s vast oeuvre—including painting, sculpture, and installation—is among the most recognized of visual artists working today. Appearing as though lifted from children’s books or Japanese manga comics, Nara’s work exhibits a deep intellect and aesthetic expansiveness. Having crossed the boundary between traditional fine art and popular culture, In the Pinky Lake, 2004, encapsulates Nara’s unsettling universe. His forms are disarming, yet they occupy a rigid balance between sympathy and rebellion. The young girl before us, solitary in her own world, embodies both innocence and danger.

    In Yoshitomo Nara’s In the Pinky Lake, 2004, a set of sweet and innocent emerald eyes look out from a rosy bottomless lake. Her red hair parts evenly across her soft forehead, revealing an expression that hovers between virtuous and formidable. She is a complex character; seemingly sweet and gentle, her eyes suggest an emotional complexity contrary to her treasured appearance. Her great big eyes twinkle against the pink sky behind her, but simultaneously seem to be brimming with unimaginable sadness and loneliness. Her pupils have retreated into an emerald darkness, leaving an expression that suffers with both happiness and enmity. The head floats in a foggy lake, which swallows the girl’s body with its murky depth. The water is tinted with a faint blush found only in the artificial colors of candies. Through In the Pinky Lake, 2004, Nara offers ominous interpretation of the Japanese Kawaii—or cute—aesthetic.


In the Pinky Lake

acrylic on cotton, mounted on Fiber-reinforced plastic
diameter: 71 in. (180.3 cm)
Titled and numbered “In the Pinky Lake, 1 2..4, J” on the reverse.

$600,000 - 800,000 

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

15 November 2012
New York