I grew up in a house filled with art, and I'm proud to say that I still live in a house filled with art. My mom is a mixed media artist and I know I'm profoundly influenced by her views on what art should and can be. So when I go to a gallery I'm particularly in love with places that do conceptual art, things that have whimsy and the thrill of random juxtapositions and strange manefestations. I like functional art, and I love the interactive artwork that grows and changes as I look at it, or over time, or whatever.
I love the 15th & 16th Japanese black and white paintings by artists like Sesson Shukei (and others) that are almost dreamlike in their execution, like this scroll painting by Yamamoto Baiitsu. But I'm not and never will be a fan of folding screens like this one ( the two-d flatness doesn't make me happy).
I get off on great photography, not matter what the subject - Ansel Adams is always a favorite, and so is Anne Lebowitz (usually) but sadly I'm not very educated about specific photographers.
I absolutely love italian futurists to look at (things like Duchamp's nude descending a staircase no. 2), and i'm kind of intrigued by things like Takashi Murakami's Superflat movement, at the same time that i kind of love (and am a little embarrased that i love) lawrence alma-tadema's reclining ladies. My favorites as a kid used to be Kandinsky and Jackson Pollock and Monet (my college dorm room was literally wallpapered in Monet, until i got sick of him and didn't put those posters up anymore).
and i'm lucky. my house is actually filled with artwork from my friends and family. my grandmother's line drawings of plants grace our bedroom, a couple of the nudes my mom did are in our living room, along with a charcoal of a dark-angel by a local artist mom got for me. My father's black & white woodblock prints of airplanes are in our dining room, and i even have a cochroach done in pastels by a friend in my library, along with a kanji-inspired scribble by the drummer in Neil's former band. it's hard to say if there's anything cohesive or 'sensible' about those choices except that i happen to think they're all exceptional artists and i love looking at all the work they've put their love into.
so the question was this:
how do you feel about the people who are really into anime/etc but don't actually try and understand the cultural context or learn anything about japan? sorry if that's not clear, but i figured you'd know who i was talking about...you know, the people who only know the word kawaii and eat pocky obsessively (not that pocky isn't food of the gods...). be honest ;pThis one is a toughy, because most of the people who I've met who are anime mad are people in their first couple of years in Japanese. And yeah, ok, they're trying to learn Japanese because they want to translate their favorite anime or manga, but hey, at least they're there learning, right? I do get frustrated when people persist in thinking about Japan like it's only filled with flower arranging or samurai or harajuku girls, but some of that has to be blamed on Japan, since the country self-promotes in some pretty specific ways, and those ideas ARE reinforcing the stereotypes. But to get back to the question ... I suppose ... yeah, it bugs a little. But it's funny too, because there remains a mystique around Japan, that somehow it's mysterious and impenitrable and lavish and ... and sometimes i use that a little bit - like when I tell people I work on Japanese literature -- people who have no idea bout it all -- and they go 'OHhhhhhh' as if what i'm doing is so masterful somehow. it's not, it's the task of learning just like everybody else.