After passing through Almine Rech Paris with “This Is Your Lucky Day” and his recent collaboration with Hypebeans, the prestigious coffee shops in Hong Kong and Seoul, on June 25 Javier Calleja arrived in Tokyo to inaugurate a new solo exhibition curated by Nanzuka, “Mr. Günter, The Cat Show”.
Conceived as an installation, the exhibition features Günter Gambita, Javier Calleja and Alicia Gutiérrez’s cat. With a mischievous gaze Günter freely “walks” through the Parco Museum to make himself present in every corner of his owner’s exhibition. At the same time, he seems to become the perfect “host” to make way for a selection of works that include new sketches, paintings, and a large wooden sculpture, never before exhibited in Japan.
In addition, welcoming the visitors, a large sculpture of the feline has been installed on the street that gives access to Parco Museum. “I am delighted to present this important member of our family in Japan”, the artist stated about this presentation. Javier Calleja’s work is characterised by his ability to imprint surprise and touches on humor in everyday aspects of our daily lives. A recognised admirer of the surrealism master René Magritte, as well as such artists as Yoshitomo Nara or Chris Johanson, Calleja has been able to masterfully incorporate his techniques into contemporary portraiture until finding his own hallmark through his large eye characters.
The game that he establishes between colours or scales and the expressions of his characters or the texts that accompany the works, is one of the more distinct qualities of Calleja’s practice. It is this ability to face difficulties through insightful creativity as well as his premise to face any vital aspect with positivity, that feeds the contagious fascination and empathy generated through his work.
Check out below for more photos of “Mr. Günter, The Cat Show”