Otaku Art

My love of Asian art began with a visit to a Japanese Museum in 1995, a time in my life that I sought to see the world from a different perspective. My interest in eastern philosophy, coupled with my appreciation for Chinese landscape painting and Japanese woodblock prints fueled my longing to admire the yin of the east through western eyes. My first trip to Asia in 2010 introduced me to the grandeur and beauty of China. Experiencing the mountains and mist, the culture and art firsthand, inspired me to draw and paint foo dogs, dragons and women dressed in qipaos when I returned home.

My trip to Kyoto, Japan in 2013 was another life changing adventure which inspired more art. Together with the writings of Haruki Murakami, the animated films of Hayao Miyazaki, Tokyo fashion, cosplay, manga, geisha and samurai, I’ve found a rich visual language for magical realism, conceptual realism and pop surrealism embodied by the feminine form.

The popularity of such things among the American youth provides a geek culture spirit of the age that mutually inspires artist and art lover. Taking advantage of this zeitgeist, the subtle and more profound concepts of eastern thought can be conveyed through the rendering of women dressed in kimonos or as anime characters. I wish to express something of the notion of mono no aware (an artistic sensitivity to the beauty and sadness of impermanence) with the juxtaposition of Zen, anime and fashion. It is my hope that people will find my artwork to be quiet and hypnotic like a scene from a Miyazaki film, free from mental noise and the frenzy of human drama. If I can make a person smile, then I smile too.

All work © 2008 – 2017 Carlos Aleman