Author(s): Keiichi Tanaami
The kaleidoscopically simmering works of Keiichi Tanaami (*1936) interlink the American comic world, psychedelic nightmares and Japanese culture. The colourful compositions create a cosmos of their own and tell about war and disease in a surprisingly concrete way. As a child during the Second World War the artist experienced the US air attacks on Tokyo and these became important motifs in his art: roaring American bombers, Japanese searchlights, his grandfather’s deformed goldfish. Keiichi Tanaami is looked upon as the forerunner of Japanese Pop Art and is one of the country’s most influential artists. His career began in the 1960s in the field of tension, typical of the time, between commissioned art and the anti-art movement, experiments with drugs and consumer culture. Under the influence of the Japanese cardboard-theatre “Kamishibai”, American B-movies and in particular Andy Warhol, Tanaami developed a style very much his own.