Swing: Belle: The Art of Junko Mizuno

By Jo Phillips

Junko Mizuno_Octopus_Teacher_72dpi copy

So I’ve just found out that coming to Atomica Gallery, in association with Comica Festival is Belle: The Art of Junko Mizuno”, It is a retrospective, solo exhibition from the celebrated and pretty amazing Japanese artist Junko Mizuno. If you get yourself down there you will be rewarded with rare limited edition prints, iconic gig silk-screen posters and other works from throughout her career. The exhibition will run from 20th-28th October 2014 and you will be able to buy limited edition pieces, some of her work is really beautiful; dark in places but I think that adds to the beauty.

 To give you a little background if you’re not into graphic novels and Manga artwork, Junko Mizuno was born in Japan but lives in San Francisco. She is completely self taught and she  is best known for her unique style of powerful and erotic female imagery. Juxtaposing childlike cuteness and horror, her psychedelic female characters exude positive energy and playful sexuality. Submerged in 70s Japanese cute-culture whilst growing up in Tokyo, Mizuno is also inspired by countless other pop-cult sources including toys, comics, food and music, as well as fetish, folk and religious art.
 
If you fancy doing a little homework before you visit the exhibition then I advise you check out the surreal two-volume graphic novel Little Fluffy Gigolo Pelu. She has created concert artwork for bands such as The Melvins, Faith No More, Mudhoney and Swans, designed vinyl figures for KidRobot (including ‘Kuro Migami’ which is included in this exhibition) and animated the titles for Jonathan Ross’s BBC TV series Japanorama.