Tickets sold out!

Sadly, unless a ticket was already purchased, you won't get a chance to see me on October 20th, 2017. I'm putting a handful of my art for auction at the Ascension Fall Benefit show at "be the light", a fundraiser held at the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center in Chicago IL. 

(Pictured below is not me.)

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The benefit aims to raise money and awareness of such wonderful charities including Special Olympics, Naomi's House, To Write Love On Her Arms, and the Lupus Foundation of America. Ascension has been very generous with their time and efforts to organize something great like this event!

(Pictured below is most certainly not me.)

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Pictures taken from Ascension Performing Arts website.

Read more here!

I learned a thing. "Somewhere over the rainbow" came from the Wizard of Oz.

Why do I only associate this song with a large Hawaiian man playing a comically undersized guitar?

Maybe because when you search "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" on the Goggles and the YouTubes you are greeted posthaste with the smiling face of Israel Kamakawiwo'ole from multiple angles before you even see any images of the young sepia-toned Judy Garland.

Maybe it's because I haven't seen the Wizard of Ounce since I was a literal fetus. I've seen the Wiz though, that's gotta at least count for something. I've also seen tons of dance concept videos using the characters from Wizard of Oz, so I'm basically an expert.

So, now you know. "Somewhere over the rainbow" was written by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg. 

Takashi Murakami

Sometimes, summer weekends are packed with stuff to do. Other weekends, they are crammed with stuff to do. But no matter what, I'm always able to make time to see the exhibit of the dude who collaborated with Kanye West to design the album cover for "Late Registration."

In "The octopus eats it's own leg" at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, a specially curated exhibit showcases the variety of Murakami's art. He has worked in both fine art and the popular culture corporate world in collaborating with Louis Vuitton, Pharrell, and other fashion designers.

Some of his art is influenced by the experiences of his parents, who were survivors of the nuclear bomb attacks in World War 2.

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Although the brightly colored wall of flowers is uplifting imagery for a viewer, Murakami himself would say that these images make him the saddest. In his mind, skulls don't represent death, but they represent a permanent state of being. Since all flowers are destined to die, the impermanence of a field of flowers is a sign of eventual decay. It resonates very well with the classic Japanese sense of aesthetic - things that are temporary are inherently more beautiful than something permanent. Sakura blossoms, fireworks, those strangely tiny meals you gotta prep: To the average Japanese person, these short lived delights provide more beauty than anything permanent.

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Murakami created an autobiographical avatar of himself named Mr. DOB. Vaguely Mickey Mouse-ish in silhouette, DOB was also inspired by some of the original icons of Japanese animation, like Doraemon.

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Check out more of Murakami's work at the MCA Chicago. The "octopus eats is own leg" will remain on exhibit until September 24, 2017. Or grab a copy of the book over at the Amazons and look at it whenever you want.

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