Concave mirror projection experiment at home in New York City

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画家の 津上みゆき と 板垣由雄 の1997年 ニューヨークでの コラボレーション - collaboration drawings by Yoshio Itagaki and Miyuki Tsugami in New York City, 1997


Domestic Attempts , Feb. 2009
The Weekly Picks, One Day Late

Our third pick of the week comes to us from Like The Spice Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. This piece has the potential to offend some of you, and if it does, I apologize. I believe that art should be challenging, and serve to open up dialogue between people. The purpose of art is not just to be pleasant to look at - artists have a responsibility to address issues, which in this case, is religion.

Yoshio Itagaki, born in Japan and living in New York City, has shown his work in the US, Mexico, Japan, and Europe. In Japan he was the recipient of the Philip Morris Art Award and the Pola Art Foundation Grant. Santa Cross depicts a religiously charged urban legend. This piece was in a show that addressed concepts such as belief systems, divinity, God, Gods, karma, Hell, apocalypse, eternal afterlife and morality. It is a personal reaction to issues of belief and religion, and examines the idea of faith, popular culture, and mainstream concepts.

This piece is such a strong commentary on consumerism and the mis-use or veil of religion. To have crucified Santa Clause, to actually have this urban myth in the place of Christ, and place him in a window a la the famous Saks Fifth Avenue window displays, leaves nothing to the imagination. The artist is bearing his feelings without any subtlety or fear, but perhaps, with a trace of humor.

Uncool Kids
By Stephanie Nikolopoulos on Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

Organized Religion
The Williamsburg art gallery Like the Spice (224 Roebling St.) fearlessly tackles the sensitive topic of Organized Religion. Originally scheduled to close this week, the exhibit is so popular it has been extended till June 8.
Organized Religion. The phrase alone conjures up strong feelings. For some, they may be positive. For others, negative.
In today’s hot political climate, people are searching for hope. Although many believe there’s something bigger out there than themselves, they do not trust organized religion. After all, the media would have us believe that we’ve got the Islamic Fundamentalists to blame for 9-11, the Right-wing Protestants to blame for the War on Terrorism, the Mormons to blame for immigration issues, the Catholics to blame for child molestation, so on and so forth.
No religion is left unturned as the (lucky number) thirteen artists tackle issues of holiness, the apocalypse, possession, and divine healing. The exhibit is wide ranging not just in the different religions addressed, but in its media. There are paintings, photographs, collages, plaster sculptures, and even a digital video.

Historically, religion and art have gone hand in hand. Art has been both a way to encourage faith and a way to challenge existing belief systems. Since imagery stands on its own for the viewer to interpret, visual art is a non-confrontational form of communicating one’s beliefs. The art included in Organized Religion is as hit or miss as church coffee. A lot of it is watered down and lukewarm, but there are some meditative pieces. Yoshio Itagaki’s work stands out the most for its design and message. In “Cloning Jesus,” he depicts a woman wearing a white lab coat stitched with the words “The Second Coming Project.” She is holding a baby with a halo around it. In Santa Cross he depicts a Japanese display window that shows Santa Clause nailed to a cross. (Dana Carvey’s Church Lady SNL character rearranging the letters of “Santa” to spell out “Satan” springs to mind.) On a Mac in the back of Like the Spice is Heather Boaz’s “True Miracle,” a digital video that tells the story of possession and faith. It’s very This American Life. It’s scary, incredible, and funny—and autobiographical. At one point Boaz recalls a family member putting holy oil on trolls in a toy store.Robert Guillie and Tatiana Kronberg each have a series of thought-provoking prints worth scrutiny. Tom Billings’ “Missionary Position” sculpture points out the use of a religious term in the act of sex.It’s not that the other artwork on display is without merit—some of in fact have better craftsmanship and style, and are actually quite beautiful—but the other works aren’t as memorable within the context of the exhibit. With such a dynamic topic as religion, Like the Spice could have selected images that really pushed boundaries and made one think.

BlackBook Magazine , March 2006
2012-2020: The Next, Next Big Thing
image: Astronaut Photo Stand on the Moon-2005

Themes of Contemporary Art
Visual Art after 1980

Jean Robertson and Craig McDaniel

Oxford University Press

Themes of Contemporary Art: Visual Art after 1980 is
a unique introduction to several important themes that
have recurred in art over the past few decades.
Examining visual art from 1980 to the present, it takes
an intriguing and accessible approach that motivates
students and other readers to think actively about and
discuss contemporary art ..

Landscape - Photographs of Time and Place
Ferdinand Protzman
Publisher: National Geographic

Landscape is a revelation for photographers and nature
lovers alike— a celebration of Earth’s incredible and
diverse beauty, with well over 100 images from around
the world, coupled with illuminating text on the evolution
of landscape photography dating back to the 19th century.