Javier Calleja Unveils Playful New Works in NANZUKA's Tokyo Outposts

Alongside a new Medicom Toy collaboration.

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Arts
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Javier Calleja is showcasing a fresh crop of paintings and sculptures in NANZUKA’s 2G gallery and the dealer’s emerging outpost, 3110NZ by LDH Kitchen, designed by Snarkitecture in Tokyo, Japan. The 2G presentation, entitled “NO ART HERE” features new renditions of Calleja’s whimsical cartoon characters realized in a large-scale sculpture and a work on paper. The sculpture, which is in fact a site-specific intervention, features a red beanie-clad character puncturing a wall with one of its arms which appears to come out of the opposite wall with the hand brandishing sign bearing the show’s title “NO ART HERE” — a playful illusion created by the artist who was inspired by the surrealist works of René Magritte.

“Calleja produces works that bring surprise and humor to viewers by incorporating subtle twists and interventions to various events within everyday life. Expressing a fondness for the works of René Magritte, Calleja attempts to reference and reinterpret the techniques of the surrealist master through contemporary portraiture. As a testimony of such endeavor, his expressions carefully pay attention to details such as changes in color and shifts in scene, as well as gaps and discrepancies between his subjects and the messages that they convey,” said the gallery in a statement.

Coinciding with the 2G exhibition are paintings on display at 3110NZ by LDH Kitchen featuring minimalist compositions that star the Spanish artist’s innocent-looking yet self-deprecating characters. Moreover, the artist teamed up with Medicom Toy to release limited edition figures to commemorate his new works on show. The first edition features a miniature version of the “NO ART HERE” sculpture while the other collectible depicts a stack of cartoonish heads in a totem-like arrangement. Prices for these editions are ¥77,000 JPY apiece (approx. $737 USD) and are available at select Medicom Toy stockists. Check them both out in the slideshow below.

“NO ART HERE” is on view until December 20, 2020. Visit NANZUKA’s website to learn more. Elsewhere in art, Nick Doyle unveiled new denim works at Belgium’s Stems Gallery featuring his minimalist reinterpretations of mid-century American artifacts.

NANZUKA 2G
15-1 Udagawacho
Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0042
Japan

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