by Thursday, June 7, 2012

A skull, flower, horror character, delicate line drawn by black ink on white paper in a pointillist, and complete commitment to the detail. Whether its motif is negative or positive, what you will feel consistently from his piece is the dignified beauty.

He came accross a hardcore music when he was a teenager, and he found a path to go by experiencing not only its sound and attitude but also a lot of artworks there. Then, he got himself involved in skateboard, graffiti, hiphop, tattoo, anything that was related to hardcore music. He was deeply in the style wars revolving around the underground.

He started his activity by making a flyer art at a local hardcore scene in Sendai which is his hometown Fukushima in early 1990. Since he loved drawing from the beginning, it was natural for him to set up

his stage of creation there, as he said. And his artwork got gradually spread to the hardcore scene through the network of underground by word of mouth. Around the same time, he also established his own clothing line and it did not take long for his artwork to become popular besides the hardcore scene.

Usugrow’s activity has been supported by a broad range of people, such as bands and kids from underground harcore and metal scene, skaters, hip hop heads, kids bombing streets. And it’s none other than the proof that his inquisitiveness towards music and art has been reflected to his art piece.

Right now, he is working based in Tokyo, doing album covers and merchandises for foreign hardcore and metal bands and hip hop groups as well as domestic bands. He’s been also working on artworks for several clothing brands and skateboard companies, and trying some paintings instead of using an ink and some experimental artworks by using organic materials such as wood for several years now.

White and black, in other words, light and dark sides of life. Since most of his current artworks have been created for clients, it’s hard to state positively that his own message is fully contained in an art piece. However, he’s got the simplest and minimal methodology of black ink on white paper and hand-drawing and his stoic attitude that he has never catered to insubstantial media’s propaganda and continued to be supported by the network which was developed by word of mouth, and these might be representing his own style, message and identity as Japanese.

Usugrow website.

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