210: Yoshitomo Nara, Untitled, 2004
Acrylic and pastel on paper. 53 1/4 x 47 in. (135.3 x 119.4 cm).
Property from the Halsey Minor Collection
PROVENANCE Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
Nara's reductive and straight-forward drawings delve deep beyond the surface to consider emotions that as humans we must face on a day-today basis. He touches on one of the primary philosophical, and arguably most difficult, concerns of the human condition—growing old and leaving childhood and adolescence behind. "On the surface, Nara's kids appear uncomplicated, even bored at times, yet one doesn't have to look far to uncover the layers of mischief and emotion bubbling beneath—it's as if the harder you look, the more these children seem to know and the more you have to learn. Through the faces of his subjects, Nara invites us to linger, to leave the rules at the door and enter the more fluid and uninhibited world of children. While many of his contemporaries embrace the escapism afforded by the futuristic fantasy and play of anime, Nara does not retreat entirely into the make-believe. Rather, he provides a conduit to another world—a world hopefully still within reach— through the immediacy and directness of children. He invites us to reconnect with the imaginative and imaginary possibilities in their distant but once familiar land" (K. Chambers, "A Visit to Naraland," Nothing Ever Happens, Cleveland, 2003, p. 28).