Friday, April 24, 2009

Pop artists Tadanori Yokoo's tribute to Ken Takakura reissued

by Chris MaGee

Japan's Tadanori Yokoo (born 1936) has often been likened to Andy Warhol or Peter Max. In the the wild years of the late 60's Yokoo raised music posters and celebrity snapshots to high art with his accomplished use of collage and surreal imagery. Yokoo often used old family photos of himself in his work as well as heroic images of author and playwright Yukio Mishima, but another of his favorite subjects was actor Ken Takakura. In fact in 1971 Yokoo made the star of over 100 yakuza films the subject of a book titled "Yuu tamashii, Takakura Ken (Brave Soul, Ken Takakura)". The book specifically highlighted poster and still imagery from Takakura's "Abashiri Prison" series, as well as films like Kinji Fukasaku's "Wolves, Pigs & Men" and Teruo Ishii's "The Flower, the Storm, and the Gang". Long out of print images from the original book will be going on display at the Shin Bungeiza in Ikebukuro, Tokyo from May 28th until June 10th. This exhibition will coincide with a reissued facsimile edition of the 371 page book. I can hear fans of Takakura getting ready to hit eBay now...

Thanks to Variety Japan for the details on this.

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