"New People" Third Floorby Evan Miller, Aug 18th 2009
Third Floor: SUPERFROG Art Gallery
Before we get into the art: yes, the gallery on the third floor of New People really is called "Superfrog." I'm not quite sure why this name was chosen - apparently it refers to a novel by contemporary Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami. Personally, I'd like to think that they picked the name "Superfrog" because it sounds badass. It's the kind of name that could get anyone interested in visiting. ("Want to go to the art gallery?" "Uh...no." "Want to go to the SUPERFROG gallery?" "Hell yeah!")
The first exhibition to appear in the gallery, Deva Loka USA, belongs to none other than Yoshitaka Amano, the artist whose work has helped make Vampire Hunter D and Final Fantasy legendary franchises all over the world. Amano attended the opening of New People as well, but he laid low after his focus panel since he developed a bladder infection shortly after arriving in the United States (in fact, he described getting a shot for the ailment for his panel attendees, drawing bits of cautious laughter from the audience). Despite being well known for Final Fantasy and other recent work, the first piece in Deva Loka USA is more reminicent of his work at Tatsunoko Productions in the 60s and 70s, where he worked on Gatchaman.
All of the images that Amano has included in the gallery were done with glitter and automobile detailing paint, giving all of the pieces a shiny look that stands in contrast to the softer, more fantasy-themed work he is most recognized for. The theme continues in the paintings themselves, where characters lie among fields of stars and mysterious creatures ooze around corners with bizarre grins on their faces.
In the center of the gallery, three plastic figures that look like robotic tigers pose for visitors, adding a theme of action and danger to the otherwise sparkle-filled gallery. The detail on the figures is pretty impressive, and I'm assuming that Amano was keeping with the automotive theme when he added what looks like an exhaust pipe to the side of each figure.
While some of the works in the gallery are simply character profiles, others are more detailed, and include some pretty hilarious elements. My personal favorite is this friendly looking guy:
The world would be a better place if we all vomited sparkly stars when we drink too much, am I right?
More photos can be found below, which may or may not involve star vomit. Once you've checked those out, it's off to floor two, where the fashion stores are!
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