This September, my partner Amalia and I had the incredible opportunity to go to Hokkaido, Japan where I painted at Sapporo’s Autumn Festival. Thanks to the enormous generosity of my friend Yuki of Smooch Coffee, this was my third time visiting Japan; I had one of the best months of my life. The kindness was overwhelming and I would like to again extend and enormous thank you to him and all the friends who helped host us. We met amazing new friends, had tons of new experiences and some of the greatest food we’ve ever had. Featured in this blog is our arrival to Sapporo, the live paintings from Autumn Fest, and a welcome back party at Neo Capsüle in the neighboring city of Asahikawa.
Yuki took a bunch of the coffee monster sketches I did for him and made them into a whole line of mugs and tumblers.
Here are my live paintings from Autumn Fest. In honor of the vegetable stand neighboring our coffee and art booth, this year my paintings included a mash up of vegetables and weird stuff all circling around a central character. As a way of showing my gratitude, I dedicated two of the paintings to the owner of the vegetable stand, Mr. Keiichi Matsumori, by depicting his mother and father as the central characters. Additionally, I also included a painting of Yuki and Miki’s 8-month-old daughter Sowa.
Mario does live in Japan.
Now off to Asahikawa for a welcome back party at Neo Capsüle. I did a mural there eight years ago and the store is full of old work of mine almost spanning a decade. It was a surreal trip down memory lane. The party was great and full of kids to reminds us to keep that playful spirit. We also celebrated our “Haikei” from Portland” show featuring an exhibition of prints, shirts, stickers and zines from artists of Portland.
Another autumn festival this time in Ashahikawa
We had a solo exhibition of the super talented and imaginative artist, EMEK, at the swanky location named “Fabulous” in Sapporo. It looked real nice y’all
More of Japan to come.