Author(s): Nils Olsen
Keiichi Tanaami (born 1936) was a protagonist of Japan's postwar avant-garde, and one of the first Japanese artists to successfully blend art and commerce. Tanaami's artwork was appearing in advertisements and magazines as early as 1962, when American Pop art was still in the ascendant. A trip to New York in 1968 provided a transformative encounter with Andy Warhol, which encouraged Tanaami to pursue several paths at once, and he was soon producing poster designs, happenings, prints and album covers, developing an assured, erotic psychedelic style populated with butterfly women, chimneys and breasts (a meeting with Robert Crumb and an appreciation of American underground comics was also significant). Including collage, painting, silkscreen prints and animation, this volume constitutes a catalogue raisonne of Tanaami's early work of the 60s and 70s. It includes his illustrations for the magazine "Shosetsu-gendai," drawing and collages for "Art Journal," album covers for the Monkees and Jefferson Airplane, stills from an animation series made for the film festival at Sogetsu Art Center, anti-Vietnam War silkscreen prints and painting series of Hollywood actresses.