611 N. Spaulding Ave.
Los Angeles, Ca, USA 90036
Open Tues. to Sun. 1-6pm
or by appointment: 323 655 4898
“Please Don’t Spit on the Painting” is scrawled on a xeroxed-textured background signed “MOMA” in its unmistakable Gothic font. As if a starch-suited museum executive muttered these words to a delinquent gallery goer. Is it a plea for recognition or a show of total institutional irreverence? Who is really spitting at whom here? This fantasized conversation constructed by the free interplay between the facture of Madsaki’s gestural painting, naive handwriting, vulgarities, and suggestive drawings exemplify the artist’s current neurosis. Born in Osaka, educated in New York’s subculture, and reintroduced to Tokyo, Madsaki boasts commercial projects with top tier streetwear designers and has worked in installation, sculpture, and industrial design. When this history is considered together, it informs and complicates his current occupation of lovingly painting the words, “GO / TAKE A / SHIT / ON THE / LAWN” in rainbow lettering in a piece entitled, Haiku Written by an American. Defecating on an ethnographically significant marker of American suburban comfort, the lawn, is a confrontational and incendiary act; but it is hilariously deflated by its flamboyant colorway. The Haiku, a Japanese literary heirloom, loses its elegance at the hands of The American perpetuating the “North American Scum” caricature that is so popularly deployed. Which begs the question, whose lawn? Whose shit? Who’s American?
This is the method that Madsaki uses in Please Don’t Spit on the Painting, where titles, words, typography, and texture compose important components of interpretation: answers to rhetorical questions, illustrations of suppressed thoughts, verbalizations of repressed memories, hypothetical proposals, consequences of a proposed action, unspoken thoughts to imagined people, synonyms, antonyms, Freudian slips, quotations, blurts, and bouts. Collectively, these attitudes can be taken as deviant. The work has a juvenile cynicism, but falsely so, in that these works actually reiterate the deictic urgency of who is implicated and who is excluded, what is connoted and denoted, and the undeniable function of context in an utterance whether slanderous or not. The title-word-painting grid takes the form of a two-way dialogue and a nervous interior monologue and a pure visualization of acid trip experiences, as if shitty attitudes became ambrosial form.
Madsaki has never admitted to an allegiance to any one country or culture; but rather, is de-patriated and heavily politicized against (Eastern and Western) conceptions of propriety, exploiting words and images and their troubled interrelation. He exercises dissidence through language by embracing the slippage and ambiguity in the ways that shit, dicks, and rainbows–in their textual and pictorial forms– can obscure and legitimize intent, nationhood, speaker and audience.
Madsaki graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York and currently works as an artist in Tokyo. He’s published how-to’s in the style of a tourist guidebook for correctly using “bitch” and “fuck”, collaborated with notable Japanese Designer Jun Takahashi, designed textiles with KAWS, and made a hybrid instrument out of an African kalimba and an electric metal guitar. Please Don’t Spit On the Painting is his eighth solo exhibition and first West Coast showing.
Don’t Stop, Concentrate
42 x 53 x 2 cm
house paint, aerosol on wood panel