Alex Gross on Asian Art and Travel

By David Jenison on April 20, 2017

Acclaimed artist Alex Gross has Japanese versions of several classic movie posters adorning the walls in his Los Angeles home and studio. The New York-born Angeleno, who includes Asian influences in many of his paintings, appreciates the culture having spent time in Japan thanks to an artistic fellowship. Gross spoke with PRØHBTD about the experience. 

I got a fellowship in 2000 from this place that doesn't offer them anymore. I was there for two months, and I got to find cool shit, buy it and bring it home. I think I shipped home six boxes of books and toys and movie posters. That was a great opportunity. I was very into Japan back then, and a lot of my work was clearly inspired and influenced by Japanese stuff. I was already using Asian influences, but it gave me a great library of imagery to be inspired by and either steal or appropriate. I never just steal anything, but you know, I'll put one head on another body or something like that. Yeah, I got all kinds of obscure Japanese advertising art, and I made a book with TASCHEN called Japanese Beauties that's just old Japanese advertising images that I either got in Japan or from friends. They let me shoot all kinds of great images like that I would never have had access to before. It was great. I think it enabled me to do all that stuff for a number of years and then get it out of my system and move on to something else. It was awesome. 

Image: Original Sin (cropped)

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