Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Grotesque Beauty of Shintaro Kago

I've been hanging out for The Art of Shintaro Kago (Timeless; November 2012) for quite a while, so I'm happy to report that it is a thing -- and I do mean THING -- of beauty.

My scans, which are mere segments of the plates, do not do justice to the sheer size and sizzle of this volume. It is a 30 x 40 cm venture across 35 vividly illustrated pages. Even the above cover scan is a mere bottom third of the full illustration.

Kago, a controversial artist who shares thematic concerns and rich, lurid aesthetics with the likes of Suehiro Maruo and Toshio Saeki, is not as well represented book-wise as those artists.

He is, however, a little infamous for his fine line of grotesque toys such as:

Flying Head Monster (described as 'Frying' on the website)

Daruma Girl

Dismembered Body

Cannibal Man's Dessert

Seppuku Girl

Dead Corpse (slightly redundant title)

and Accidental Cat.

Kago has many obsessions, and headlessness (dismemberment also) is surely a primary one. His use of color and texture is quite stunning, as is an underlying sense of paranoid outrage.

To grab this special limited edition from and published by France's Timeless (www.timeless-shop.com), act fast!, for only 300 copies have been printed.

This exciting publication by an on-line distributor of fascinating art reminds me somewhat of Last Gasp's oversized Toshio Saeki publication of 2009, Onikage. The same level of passion and perfection infects every page.


  1. The flying head with attached guts is in Balinese folklore--it's called a pennangalan. It's basically a vampire that feeds on the blood of pregnant women. I don't know if mention is made of that in the book, but I thought I'd mention it. A pretty original monster, pretty cool too.

  2. Anon -- not mentioned in the book, but thanks for this knowledge. Fascinating!