Sunday, July 17, 2011

Little Tokyo has Pop

Steering clear of the so called Carmageddon I made my way to downtown LA to check out the Future City Exhibit as well as the Art In The Streets exhibition at the MOCA Giffen. The Future City exhibit was interesting more for how they put the show together than the actual material in the show. They used POD self storage containers as mini exhibit spaces that were positioned in two main locations on both ends of Little Tokyo. Such a smart and terrific idea. Instantly inspired me to do a Comic Book/Art Show in a similar fashion. I also spent time checking out an animated short by one of my favorite artists Koji Morimoto. I was hoping it would be presented on a larger screen but it was still fun to watch it projected onto the back of it's own Pod container. Giant Robot was also there with a mini version of one of their stores.

Being that I'm a Comic Book creator/publisher I couldn't pass up the Japanese American Museum 's retrospective on Comic legend and master Stan Sakai and his fantastic creation Usagi Yojimbo. I've always been a fan of his amazing work. A chance to see some of his work up close. A true treat for art and Comic Book fans. A must see.

I also made time for the Art In The Streets at MOCA Giffen. I didn't think it was possible for them to top their Murakami exhibit from a few years back but this is on the same level in terms of scale and a commitment to showing off the grit, the lifestyle and in some cases beauty of so called "Street Art'. All the usual suspects are there Shepard Fairey, Banksy etc The attention to detail and the variety of art work on display is staggering and a welcome. Even the Levi's film exhibit was interesting.

I made my way to my usual haunts. Kinokuniya bookstore and Curry House. From the second floor I saw an interesting store across from the mall. This little shop is called "Q Pop" . The minute you walk in the store it's like entering a whole other mental space.  Part retro James Bond 60's hideout and part Harujuku hole in the wall Art Otaku paradise.  Q Pop it wall to wall with cool art objects. I learned that all the clothes, jewelry, designer toys are all one of kind. I was able to meet the co-owners and they were kind enough to let me take a few shots. The store is co-owned by artist Christopher Mitchell. Christopher is a Emmy nominated storyboard artist on such great shows as Sponge Bob Squarepants, Samurai Jack, Power Puff Girls and is now working for Disney Feature Animation. Q Pop is definitely a must see shop when cruising LA for new and unique artist driven merch.


Javier Hernandez said...

Hey, this was a cool little round-up of interesting things to see. And all within walking distance to one another.

I'll have to check out the Sakai exhibit, for sure. And that 'Pop' shop sounds pretty neat, too.

Thanks for your own version of 'Eye on LA'. (Any old-timers remember that local show??)

Karl Altstaetter said...

You know I do. I'm old school brother.