Tadanori Yokoo

Inducted: 2000

Tadanori Yokoo was born in Nishiwaki, Japan in 1936. As a teenager, his modest dreams were to work at a post office and to paint. He entered the profession by replicating paintings, designing store wrapping paper, and drawing posters for the Chamber of Commerce. His first notable work, a self-titled poster at the Persona group's 1965 joint exhibition, attracted attention because it diverged from contemporary graphic styles. This shocking poster featured a hanged man against a blue sky with red rays emanating from a rising sun. His name appeared at the top; the bottom corners held childhood photographs and the simple ironic statement, "having reached a climax at the age of 29, I was dead." The rising sun motif, considered old-fashioned at the time, recurs throughout his body of work and has become emblematic of "Yokoo style" and an international symbol of Japanese pop art.

Following this success, Yokoo participated in the Brno Biennial and collaborated with

 

 

 

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