Imawano Kiyoshiro will forever be remembered as Japan’s pioneer of rock and roll music for his genre-bending musical stylings, gender-bending outrageous costumes and onstage antics. What most people don’t know, however, is that his fingers were as nimble with a paintbrush as with a guitar neck.
Beginning with manga compilations as a child, he continued to draw and paint his entire life, even after his battle with throat cancer. Whether his subject be friends, illustrations for children’s books, or political cartoons, he never looses his self-aware playfulness as he tries to sneak bulldogs, boobs, and ninjas into as many paintings as possible.
The World of Imawano Kiyoshiro exhibit at the Harajuku Laforet showcasing his paintings, tour and album art, and stage costumes runs until September 13th. Scans can’t do his massive murals justice. For those of you unfamiliar with Kiyoshiro, this is the perfect opportunity to learn about a modern legend. Everyone else owes it to them selves to discover the art behind the music.