Ushio Shinohara (born 1932, Tokyo), nicknamed “Gyu-chan”, is a Japanese Neo-Dadaist artist. His excited, bright, oversized work has exhibited at prestigious institutions internationally, including the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Guggenheim Museum Soho, New York; the Japan Society, New York; The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Leo Castelli Gallery, New York; Galerie Oko, Berlin; The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles; and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Seoul, among others.
His parents instilled in him a love for painters such as Cézanne, Van Gogh and Gauguin. Shinohara’s father was a tanka poet who was taught by Wakayma Bokusui. Shinohara’s mother was a Japanese painter who went to school at Woman’s Art University (Joshi Bijutu Daigaku) in Tokyo Japan.
In 1952 Ushio Shinohara entered the Tokyo Art University (later renamed to Tokyo University of the Arts), majoring in oil painting. Shinohara was unhappy with the strict curriculum and never graduated.
A photographer named Tomatsu Shomei was one of his strongest influences on his art. Tomatsu Shomei was a Japanese photographer who studied at school called Aichi University. He took photos for Japanese photography magazines that were controversial and showed what was happening in the now. He is a photographer that is still celebrated in the Japanese culture and still works today. Shomei, the Japanese photographer, brought Japanese fears to life with the photos he took many of them taken after the Second World War.
Shinohara demonstrates the same high-energy approach in every medium he employs. His sculptures, paintings, drawings, and sculptures depicting unique representations of everyday scenes from the eclectic urban landscape of New York City and the beaches of Bermuda and Miami. Working primarily in acrylic gouache and colored ink, with some collage elements, Shinohara’s cartoon-like compositions are infused with primary colors, a humorous spirit, and a violent painterly touch. The complexity of movement and impulsive nature that characterize Shinohara’s visual language reflect his unyielding creative energy.