Yoshitomo Nara b. 1959

One of the most popular contemporary artists in Japan, Yoshitomo Nara is best known for his sinister imagery of children and animals. His flat, two-dimensional characters display a range of negative emotions evoking anger, sadness, even revenge while remaining vulnerable to the viewer. Provocative in nature, the children typically wield objects such as knives and cigarettes, seemingly posing contrast to the rigidness of Japanese social constructs.

Nara was born and raised in a rural village of northern Japan. Nature, music, and the solitude of his childhood had a profound impact on how he sees the world and the viewpoint he brings to his work. After graduating with his MFA from the Aichi Prefectural University of the Arts, Japan he studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf during the late 1980s. He remained in Germany after graduation in 1993 and opened a studio in Cologne. Nara has been exhibiting his paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, and collections of merchandise featuring his characters internationally since 2000. Nara has published multiple books throughout his career including The Lonesome Puppy (2008), a children’s book, and the Yoshitomo Nara Photo Book 2003-2012 (2012), a collection of ephemera from his life and travels.

His work is held in the esteemed collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Museum of Art in Osaka, the Museum of Modern Art New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Malaga, Spain among many others. He currently lives and works in Tokyo.

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Auction Results Yoshitomo Nara

YOSHITOMO NARA, Only Faces Appear in My Mind | wright20.com

Yoshitomo Nara

Only Faces Appear in My Mind

estimate: $50,000–70,000
result: $42,500
YOSHITOMO NARA, On Trial | wright20.com

Yoshitomo Nara

On Trial

estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $40,000
YOSHITOMO NARA, Broken Treasure | wright20.com

Yoshitomo Nara

Broken Treasure

estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $18,750
YOSHITOMO NARA, Attack to the Rotten World! SOS | wright20.com

Yoshitomo Nara

Attack to the Rotten World! SOS

estimate: $12,000–15,000
result: $13,200
YOSHITOMO NARA, WOW (Works on Whatever) Project Beach Towel | wright20.com

Yoshitomo Nara

WOW (Works on Whatever) Project Beach Towel

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $10,625
YOSHITOMO NARA, WOW (Works on Whatever) Project Beach Towel | wright20.com

Yoshitomo Nara

WOW (Works on Whatever) Project Beach Towel

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $8,750
YOSHITOMO NARA, Angry Girl | wright20.com

Yoshitomo Nara

Angry Girl

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $5,313
YOSHITOMO NARA, Doggy Radio | wright20.com

Yoshitomo Nara

Doggy Radio

estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $4,688