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From Streets to Canvas: Interview with Japanese Street Artist Turned Painter, Inagaki


Image courtesy of Inagaki

In the bustling streets of London, where artistic expression thrives, and creativity knows no bounds, a rising star has emerged from the vibrant tapestry of the city. Meet Inagaki, a self-taught Japanese artist whose journey from the realms of street art to the canvas is capturing the attention of art enthusiasts. With an unmistakable talent and an unwavering determination, Inagaki is carving his own path in the art world, transcending traditional boundaries and redefining artistic norms.


In this exclusive interview, we have the privilege of delving into the remarkable story of Inagaki's artistic transformation, his unique perspective as a self-taught artist, and the captivating narratives his vibrant creations bring to life. Join us as we explore the creative mind of Inagaki, a true visionary and a rising force in the London art scene.


 

Image courtesy of Inagaki

Please tell us about your background and what inspired you to become an artist.


I was born in a neighboring prefecture of Tokyo. Until recently, I had never even considered becoming an artist, but through my graffiti experiences in Tokyo, I became convinced that it was honestly not for me, and I began to develop an interest in art.


Image courtesy of Inagaki

How was the process of transitioning from graffiti into painting?


I’m a street artist, so my use of spray and understanding of urban space is an extension of what I learned in graffiti. Although the canvases I make for my studio production are based on oil paintings, I had to learn on my own from scratch.


Inagaki, "A Youth on the Moon" (2023). Oil and aerosol paint on canvas. Image courtesy of Inagaki.

What does your work aim to say? What are the major themes you pursue in your artwork?


I want to record this chaotic present day. Coexistence of massive problems and ridiculousness.


Inagaki, "Gentle Impact" (2022). Oil on canvas. Image courtesy of Inagaki.

You call yourself an Urban Surrealist. Has this always been your style, or did it evolve over time?


I used to say that. The reason is that I’ve often experimented with Dépaysement in urban spaces (a technique often used by the Surrealists to move things from their original context to another, creating dissimilarities). Now I’m taking one step back in history and deepening my love for Dadaism.


Inagaki, "Teenage Vibe" (2022). Oil on canvas. Image courtesy of Inagaki.

What does a day in your life as an artist look like?


I keep painting soberly day after day while enviously watching my friends hanging out on IG. I paint in my studio and also outside as a street artist, so I really only think about painting all the time, but it's a lot of fun. I had never found anything I was hugely passionate about in my life.


Inagaki, "A Youth in A Room" (2023). Oil and aerosol paint on canvas. Image courtesy of Inagaki.

Are you always inspired to create art? If not, what do you do to recharge and allow yourself to be inspired again?


I still don't actually know much about what inspiration means. When I talk to my friend artists, I try to fit in the conversation and always say something like "Inspiration, isn't it?". But what I can say is that I’m motivated to paint.


Image courtesy of Inagaki

Lastly, what has your experience been like navigating the London art scene so far?


Amazing. It's great to meet people who love weird art, who you can't meet in smaller cities, basically. These people have been supporting me to make it as a professional artist despite my short career. I've also met a few interesting human beings.


To stay up-to-date with the artist's career, make sure to follow him on Instagram @inagaky

Artist's Website: enigm.tokyo


 

If you want to invest in Inagaki's career by acquiring his artwork or need help to discover similar talented artists, I can help. As an art advisor, I do the research so that you can make informed decisions when buying art. With my help, you can discover artists that best fit your taste, space, budget, and goals.


You can contact me here.

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