7 - 30 August 2009
Tyler Starr
Wallowing Series
drawing and mixed media
12:00-21:00 (-19:00 on 30 Aug.)| entrance free | closed on Tuesdays
opening reception | 19:00-21:00 Thu. 6 August

Wallowing: Goodbye Enterprise
pencil, gouache, ganpi


The imagery of police and unruly crowds, a U.S. Airforce's crashed jet, and barricades created by protesters against the U.S.S. Enterprise.
American artist Tyler Starr born in 1974, explores those symbolic scenes of 60-70s, like looking in the rearview mirror of a car.

What he focuses on is not political motifs but the spectacular drama of these events. He sees a critical aspect of human nature in these improvised structures as heroic efforts to fix the world that have muddied results. He explores how history and objects are cobbled together in daily life and sometimes recycled to try to fix perceived problems in the world.
In his work, traces of history pop up alongside contemporary situations seen in everyday life, such as a bicycle jerry-rigged with speakers for a politician's election bike, the architecture of police boxes, a Pachinko hall, and road construction crews. They are mingling with the student radicals and military bases in his imagery. These are a mixture of things he sees around Ueno and Asakusa, where he lives, photos taken with his cell-phone, and images he comes across in his research.
This is a lesson learned from the theatrical world such as Kabuki and Shakespeare's dramas that play with contemporary events in the guise of the past. It is for him about observing and appreciating the complexity of the world.

After graduating design school, where he majored in Illustration, he began a self-published magazine. The publication reinforced his interest in printed matter and he graduated with a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Connecticut. He then studied etching techniques at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poland.
Since 2005, he has studied at The Tokyo University, in traditional Japanese woodcut print.
Having trained his sensitivity towards fine materials based on the traditional role of prints, he applies the approach of painting and portrays his view of the world.

In August 2009, Tyler Starr presents his newest paintings and sculptures, in his first solo exhibition in Tokyo entitled "Wallowing Series".
The word "Wallowing" can mean to revel in an emotion but can also mean to struggle through something like mud. His artwork dwells on these dual human conditions, stretching its arm to past and present, Japan and America, its histories and cultures.
The venue is Gallery éf, that uses a warehouse built at the end of Edo era (1868) and endured the huge earthquake, the ferocious fire of Tokyo Air Raid, and constant urban development. It has been playing a role as a quiet witness of the history, at the same time as backgrounds of varied messages that contemporary artwork communicates.

Wallowing: Goodbye Enterprise (detail)
pencil, gouache, ganpi

Wallowing: Hello Enterprise (detail)
pencil, gouache, ganpi

Wallowing: Moth in the Treasure House
(Cobalt 60, Kyushu University Building, F-4 Phantom)
mixed media, 2009

Tyler Starr Profile

Tyler Starr was born in 1974 in Hartford, CT. He attended the Rhode Island School of Design for two years before leaving to become a certified Emergency Medical Technician in Columbus, Ohio. While working on an ambulance in Connecticut, he began the self-published zine Buck in the Field which was included in the exhibit "Alt.Youth Media" at the New Museum of Modern Art, New York City in 1996. He graduated with a BFA from the University of Connecticut where he was exposed to Eastern European Art. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the Academy Of Fine Arts in Krakow, Poland. After receiving an MFA from the University of Minnesota he became the studio manager of the Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Minneapolis. At Highpoint he organized and curated exhibits of contemporary Pakistani, Japanese and Polish printmaking. He currently lives and works in the old downtown district of Tokyo, Japan.
He has shown internationally, in the U.S., Poland, Turkey, and the Netherlands.
This year he has exhibited at the 7th International Biennial of Contemporary Prints in Liège, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Liège, Belgium, the 2nd Bangkok Triennale International Print and Drawing Exhibition where he was awarded the Excellent Prize, and Poetry in the Meadow at World Art Delft, Netherlands.

Tyler Starr

Selected Exhibitions
1st International Printmaking Bienial-Istanbul, Istanbul Museum of Graphic Arts, Turkey
76th Exhibition of Japan Print Association, Honorable Mention Award,Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Ueno, Tokyo

International Print Triennial Vienna, Kunstlerhaus, Vienna, Austria
Contemporary Prints from Tokyo, Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Minneapolis, MN

Japanese Ministry of Education Research Scholarship to study Japanese woodcut techniques at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts Spring (2005-ongoing)
Fulbright Scholarship to study intaglio printmaking at the Academy of Fine Arts, Krakow, Poland (Fall 1998-Spring 1999)