Cotton Candy in the Big Apple

IMG_8022.jpg

TOKYOPOP Fam: Happy Day-After-Halloween everyone!

I hope you had a scary-fun All Hallows' Eve - and surprised everyone with your awesome costume! (I went as a Bollywood-style Maharaja, but really needed a headdress to pull it off - maybe next year).

So, after a couple weeks of serious topics here in my Corner, I'm diving back into one of my favorite subjects - pop art!  I was in New York City last week and hopped on the subway to visit an amazing art gallery and shop, Cotton Candy Machine.

It's located in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, which has really become perhaps the hippest part of the greater NYC area, and reminded me of Mitte in Berlin and even a bit like Harajuku in Tokyo.

Cotton Candy Machine is co-owned by artist Tara McPherson, who has a really distinctive style which blends creepy with otherworldly.  Her combination of compelling female characters (and sometimes cute animals) with glow-in-the-dark color has always impressed me.

Tara and her partner Sean Leonard, working with a talented staff, have put together an impressive collection of contemporary pop artists of varying influences.  They have regular events, and when I stopped by they were featuring artists Camilla d'Errico and Hikari Shimoda.  Both feature stunning work that fall roughly into the kawaii category.  Hikari's works remind me a bit of a kimo-kawaii version of Yoshitomo Nara.  Camilla's works are heavily manga-influenced, and seem to me reminiscent of Clamp's more intricate pieces.

Ironically, it turns out I know the curator of that event, Caro from Sweet Streets, who reps some amazing artists and curates various kawaii events.

At Cotton Candy, I also bumped into a cool Halloween pumpkin-art display, carved by the Maniac Pumpkin Carvers.  They make my own pumpkins look no fancier than my 4-year-old niece's, but that's often what great artists do - remind you of your own mediocrity (and instill awe in you towards their talent).

The people at Cotton Candy were cool & kind, which makes a visitor feel at home.  I met Nicholas Tucker (working the register at the time) and Lori Nelson (busy painting on a huge canvas) during my visit - so check out their pieces online as well!

Obviously, if you live nearby or visit the NYC area, drop in and say hi to the good folks at Cotton Candy Machine (and tell them yoroshiku! from Stu at TOKYOPOP).

Mata na!

--Stu (stulevy.com, IG: @djmilky)

Pics from my visit:

IMG_7998

IMG_7998

IMG_8001

IMG_8001

IMG_8002

IMG_8002

IMG_8007

IMG_8007

IMG_8008

IMG_8008

IMG_8012

IMG_8012

IMG_8015

IMG_8015

IMG_8016

IMG_8016

IMG_8018

IMG_8018

IMG_8022

IMG_8022