Updated: Sep 14, 2021
Our take on artist, skateboarder and all-around renaissance man, Haroshi.
If you're into the underground, pop art, or overall street art scene, chances are you've heard of the name Haroshi. He's no spring chicken. He's been around for over two decades, and he's definitely made a case for himself to be on the Mount Rushmore of modern Japanese street artists with the likes of Hajime Sorayama, Keiichi Tanaami and Takashi Murakami.
For you younglings out there, since the 2000's, #Haroshi has been using recycled skateboards as his material of choice to create some of the most dope sculptures in the world. One doesn't have to go any further than his "Ramp" created at Art Basel in 2017 to see how his love of skating shines through.
How can you look at that picture and not have your draw drop? If you're like us, you're wiping the drool off the floor as you're reading this article. A sexy installation that you can actually skate on, with colors and texture that make you feel like you're gliding on some kind of large eagle wing while visiting Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. Imagine if more skateparks had a ramp like this!
Although he acknowledges his skating influence, not many are aware he's an architect and industrial designer as well, fusing furniture design into his artistic interpretations.
What we find amazing about Haroshi isn't just the attention to detail, it's the attention to the outcome. He's got the skills of an amazing artist, fused with the mind of an advertiser. What behavior do you want the consumer to do after viewing his art? It's already baked into pieces like his skate ramp.
Haroshi has said about art:
The art that I think is great is: not a perfume that only smells good, but how, after adding a foul scent, it turns into a spicy and original fragrance; or a child’s music performance that’s more heartfelt than a professional musician’s performance. You may not skate well, but after dozens of turns and scratches, you accomplish a trick—that’s more impressive than the tricks a professional skater does. I’m in pursuit of the idea that not being perfect makes things perfect. I couldn’t explain it well, but this is how I feel about art. It may be great, but is it heartfelt? That’s what I look for in art. - Haroshi, movethemind.info
Profound words that make you think. In fact, we believe great art is the kind that makes you question it. Why was this made? What was the artist thinking? Who influenced this? Where does this message proliferate? When does the artist stop feeling this way? So many questions to ask. The greatest pieces of work has some kind of tension built into it, and Haroshi does just this. He wants you to experience his art, not just sit back and look at it.