"La “distanza culturale” è uno dei motori della mia arte, è ciò che mi ha permesso di diventare un'artista internazionale. Se voglio essere uscire dai confini del Giappone, mi dicevo, devo conoscere regole e usi della cultura occidentale. Perché se un artista diventa famoso, accade perché è essa a decretarlo. Contaminare con lo stile Kawaii una costruzione dell'immagine propria dell'Occidente è la chiave per far sì che la mia arte piaccia anche a chi è culturalmente lontano dalle mie origini." Tomoko Nagao
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Tomoko Nagao is one of the main contemporary artists of Micropop art. She was born in 1976 in Nagoya, Japan. She studied in Japan, assimilating Nara Yoshitomo's style made of stylized shapes and Takashi Murakami's Superflat style. Today she is considered the most important exponent artist of Micropop and Superflat in Italy, where she nowadays lives.
Tomoko takes Caravaggio, Velázquez, Tiziano, La Tour, Botticelli, Hokusai's artworks and she revisits them, also introducing global brands like Coca-Cola, iPad, Barilla, Play Station PSP. Nagao's adaption of Old Master paintings are intended as an ironic reference to the economic mechanisms, where Renaissance patrons like Medici have now been replaced by the creative directors of major brands. In this way, her works become ametaphor of globalisation, making them more "easy to read" thanks to the Japanese aesthetic concept of "kawaii" that makes everything "cool". Her production includes original paintings, stencils and vectorial art. She practices the Superflat style, the postmodern Japanese art movement founded by Takashi Murakami. So her artworks are characterized by flat and emphatic images and defined outlines.
Her art his innovative and original, uniting classical art and contemporary art, oriental traditions and occidental culture. She chooses classical subjects of art history that are famous in all the world and immediately recognizable and she revisits them in a Pop way and with elements of Japanese Manga e Ukiyo-e culture. One of the best example is the "Mickey Mouse" wearing Armani underwear. In September 2015 her "Botticelli - The Birth of Venus with Baci" was exhibited at the Gemalde Galerie of Berlin and, in 2016, at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in occasion of "The Botticelli Renaissance group show", where it was considered by the critics one of the more interesting event of that year.