The artwork of Nanami Cowdroy is instantly appealing to anyone (with good taste I hope), but I really connected with her art which has Japanese elements at its base. I am first generation Japanese and was born and raised here in the States, so it makes sense that I relate to Nanami’s style being that she has a Japanese-European heritage (and grew up in Australia).
Paper cranes, goldfish (kin-gyo) and the koi fish are all very traditional Japanese imagery. Nanami turns those into highly imaginative works adding an almost graffiti like style. I also love that she sticks to a black and white monochrome palette mixing sharp lines with watery textures. Her signature really pops in red near the corners of all her work, done in traditional Japanese style spelling out her name “Nanami” or “Seven Seas” if translated literally.
Two pieces of her art I really want to get my hands on is the n-deck Uproar and Touch Up. The n-deck is the skateboard looking piece in the gallery below as you might have guessed. These are custom pieces laser etched and engraved into real timber. You can check out a close-up shot on her site but the detail and depth from the engraving is incredible. There are few other editions of the n-deck available and they are all just as cool.
The next piece Touch Up is the first image in the gallery. You might notice even from the digital photo that it has a slightly different feel to it. This is because it is printed with an old Heidelberg Cylinder Letter Press Machine. Basically it makes awesome prints with a lot more texture. Of course I am going to like a bad-ass chick with fishnets, heels, tattoos and a maneki-neko spray can, but my favorite part are the kamon (family crest) emblems in the corner and how she is holding the mask like aya-tori (string figure).
Nanami is about to launch her brand new website very soon, so head over there and check out a ton more of her amazing artwork.
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