Yoshitomo Nara (b. 1959)
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Yoshitomo Nara (b. 1959)

Rock You

Yoshitomo Nara (b. 1959)
Rock You
signed and dated 'Yoshitomo Nara 2006' (on the reverse)
acrylic on board in artist's wooden frame
64 x 64in. (162.5 x 162.5cm.)
Executed in 2006
Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Hirosaka, Yoshii Brick Brewhouse, Yoshitomo Nara + Graf: A to Z, 2006.
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VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 17.5% on the buyer's premium.
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Lot Essay

Associated with Japan's Pop Art movement in the 1990s and with sources of inspiration drawing from the Punk and Rock music, Manga illustrations, 20th century children's books and Giotto, to name a few; Nara's works are evocative of his childhood, being mostly expressive of his personal difficulties in relating to the outside world.
In fact Nara's big headed and stylized cartoon children, to be seen as reflections of the artist's true self, often express feelings of anger, alienation and powerlessness, perhaps a response to Japan's rigid structures and highly controlled society.
Rock You, for example, represents a girl standing alone in the middle of the picture, whose aggressive expression, combined with the title of the work, seems to be silently attacking a world in which she has been left alone.
Together with Good, Bad, Average and Unique, named after a British Rock album from the Nineties, Rock You is strongly representative of Nara's affiliation to Punk and Rock movements, embodying his children with rebellious and anti-conformist attitudes.
The three girls playing with the drumsticks, 1, 2, 3, seem to suggest instead the impossibility for communication, appearing to be either too immersed in their own worlds, or too hesitant and confused to engage with each other, thus emphasizing the speechlessness and powerlessness which characterizes Nara's subjects.

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