Merry Karnowsky Gallery is proud to present Vivid Fiction, an exhibition by innovative artists Aiko, Junko Mizuno, and Samuel Lowder, AKA “FrePrs”.
Aiko (Nakagawa) has been a bold influence on the contemporary art scene since she co-founded the Brooklyn-based international art collective, FAILE in 1999. In 2008, Aiko left FAILE to focus on her solo work, which exhibits a grittiness and grace inspired by the streets. Using collage, stencil, silkscreen, brushwork, and spray paint, Aiko explores depictions of femininity and sexuality in her paintings of bunnies, butterflies, and vampy women. She calls this body of paintings “Debauchery.” Aiko’s solo work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in the US, Japan, China, Italy, Spain, Germany, and the UK.
In her series of paintings entitled “Deranged,” painter Junko Mizuno mixes adorable with grotesque in a unique style that has been called “Kawaii Noir.” Inspired by pop art, erotica, and Japanese horror films, her neo-psychedelic paintings depict cartoonish females with curvaceous figures in nightmarish circumstances. Mizuno has published numerous graphic novels, including Cinderalla, Little Fluffy Gigolo Pelu, Princess Mermaid, and Pure Trance. Her artwork has shown in galleries in New York, Toronto, Seattle, Paris, Milan, Tokyo, Rome, Berlin, and Barcelona.
Samuel Lowder began his artistic career as graffiti artist “FrePrs” in and around Los Angeles in the early ‘90s. By the end of the decade, he had moved from freehand graffiti to stenciling and pasting. Inspired by old advertisements, cartoons, and cinema, Lowder’s clean stencil techniques and vibrating blended color are reminiscent of early pop art pioneers, but with a more painterly affectation. Although still a freehand artist, stenciling has became the prime medium and form of expression for Lowder, whose work treads the line between simple design and complex layering.