Tadanori Yokoo (born 1936) is a
Japanese graphic designer, illustrator, printmaker and painter.
Tadanori Yokoo, (pronounced
"yoko-o") born in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, in 1936, is one of
Japan's most successful and internationally recognized graphic
designers and artists. He began his career as a stage designer for
avant garde theatre in Tokyo. His early work shows the influence of
the New York based Push Pin Studio (Milton Glaser and Seymour Chwast
in particular) but Yokoo himself cites filmmaker Akira Kurosawa and
writer Yukio Mishima as two of his most formative influences.
In the late 1960s he became
interested in mysticism and psychedelia, deepened by travels in
India. Because his work was so attuned to 1960s pop culture, he has
often been (unfairly) described as the "Japanese Andy Warhol" or
likened to psychedelic poster artist Peter Max, but Yokoo's complex
and multi-layered imagery is intensely autobiographical and entirely
original. By the late 60s he had already achieved international
recognition for his work and was included in the 1968 "Word & Image"
exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Four years later
MoMA mounted a solo exhibition of his graphic work.
In 1981 he unexpectedly "retired"
from commercial work and took up painting. His career as a fine
artist continues to this day with numerous exhibitions of his
paintings every year, but alongside this he remains fully engaged
and prolific as a graphic designer.