Collector File 002: Junko Mizuno's Illustration Book by Junko Mizuno
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
*** Images follow which are not safe for the kiddies and work-place viewing! ***
Japanese artist Junko Mizuno creates some psychedelic art that is often bizarre...
And sometimes a little gross...
The most common subject is a young woman, often partially disrobed, commonly with an intensely cute and petite beastie of some sort, and almost always with massive amounts of hair...
My wife, fresh from a year of teaching English in Japan, indoctrinated me into current Japanese youth culture. I bought into it with a hipster's irony, but eventually I found that I was actually falling in love with some of its aspects. Anime and manga have been with us a while now, but Japanese comic art has been a staple of mainstream illustration and animation for decades. Those old holiday cartoons and the Rankin Bass versions of The Hobbit and Return of the King that I've adored since I was about 5 years-old were all drawn by Japanese artists. So, a seed had already been sewn within me, it just took a guiding hand to lead me back to the new Japanese art-world order.
While being no expert on that subject, I nonetheless feel that Mizuno has contributed something with some importance to the current movement. Her use of color catches the eye, the dreamy quality of the images mesmerizes, and just as you begin to think this is all nothing but nonsensical imagery, something pops (or poops) out at you and, in the very least, raises a smile upon the viewer's absorbed face.
Bought this years ago at a book signing in Hollywood. Nearly silent, bobble-headed Mizuno sat at a table signaturing away with her gaze perpetually lowered. I said something like "Love your stuff. Thank you!" but what I meant to say was "I want to put you on my keychain and take you home with me!".... I think that's why she was avoiding eye-contact with us monstrous pail-skins, fearing the gigantic blue-eyed devils would kidnap her for trinket usage. The following picture of Mizuno (middle) displays her wee-ness...HA! "wee-ness". Why do I feel like she'd be happy to hear someone said she possessed a wee-ness?