Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Lonesome Puppy

The other picture book I picked up last Sunday is The Lonesome Puppy by Yoshitomo Nara. It was first published in Japan in 1999 and is now in the states with Chronicle Books, San Francisco. This is the first children's book solely by Yoshitomo, but his art is popular worldwide. The story is about a Big White Dog and a little girl who notices him one day. Apparently no one ever noticed him before because he was too big! Ok it's the wonderful world of children's books, whether too big or too small, sometimes we feel lonely right? So the girl climbs up his leg, slides down his head and they meet- eye to eye. Then we see a couple of pictures of the girl trying to make sense of this creature and on the next page she is singing him songs and they become fast friends. The moral of the story is spelled out on the last page of text. “ No matter how alone you are, there is always someone somewhere, waiting to meet you. Just look and you will find them!”

Following the text we have eight more pages of Yoshitomo's wonderful art. Contemporary museums have acquired his paintings and sculptures, and his pop art figures can be found on t-shirts and plastic plates as well. Here is a brief description of his work by Kara Besher,

"What is it about this art that elicits such a strong response? It doesn’t seem very complicated. The style is intentionally flat, with blunt, uniformly thick lines. This, combined with a lack of modeling, texture or strong coloration, seems to force attention to the subject matter. Yet there isn’t much of that. Narrative content? Not much of that either. Expressiveness? Not really.

Naras artwork "clicks" because we sense that beneath the sparse execution is a direct portal to a personal, almost intuitive vision."

And if you would like to see more of his work there are quite a few pieces posted on artnet.
He also has a video. Here is the third of three parts called Travelling with Yoshitomo Nara.


  1. what a cool video! made me feel like a child wandering through a magical world. i love all the colored lights...that's japan!

  2. I would love to go there someday in the not so distant future : )


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