I felt like the response was three, no, five times what I had expected. I thought I would just row out in a small boat for now, but I was on a big warship.”
Kazunobu Kubota (42) of the comedy duo Toro Salmon, who ended his first solo exhibition “Nagurigaki” with great success, said that 54 of his works, including the painting “Liberation End of War,” which he sold for 1 million yen, were sold out.
The young master of a high-class barbershop bought a one-million-yen painting. What made me happy was when an elderly man who had bought a painting came all the way back to my exhibition and asked me, ‘Who painted this painting? He asked me, “Who painted this picture? It was not about who painted the picture, but about the picture that made the choice. Now I feel that the paintings have already overtaken Kubota.
I was aware of Jimmy Onishi (58) and Kukki! (46).
(46). “If I were to use a baseball analogy, Jimmy is like a grass baseball player. His pure, childlike colors are appealing. Kukki-san creates works with the intensity of a major league baseball game. I am …… women’s softball. It is niche but has many core fans. I would like to increase its popularity and make it an Olympic sport in the future.
It was the work of his partner, Shusuke Murata (42), that prompted him to take up writing. At the beginning of the year, Murata was offered a job on the stage of the New National Theatre. With the duo no longer working together, Murata decided to devote the time he had to creative activities. He also had a sense of rivalry with his partner, who was highly acclaimed as an actor in “Spark” (Netflix).
My father is also involved in creative activities; he once spent a year making a giant objet d’art of “Space Battleship Yamato,” which was featured in the local newspaper. So I was vaguely interested in artistic activities. All of my painting is self-taught. I really dislike being taught, and I think, ‘I’ll figure it out on my own. The only thing I am happy to be taught is SM play from JoOusama (laughs).
She works mainly at home. She manages her time so that she doesn’t get too absorbed in her work.
If I paint for five to six hours straight, when I lose my concentration, I get depressed as a reaction.
Painting is like a bonfire. If you close your eyes for three seconds, the flame is changing. I think this is due to the influence of the wind and the flow of nature at any given moment, and the colors I use on the canvas also change depending on my thoughts, feelings, and events at that time. A painting I could do today may not be able to do tomorrow. That is the charm of my work.
Kubota is expanding his activities as a comedian and a painter. He says that comedy and painting have something in common.
Kubota says, “Painting is not a verbal skill, but a process of using the right side of the brain to put images and movements onto the canvas. You drop a picture on the canvas. Comedy is dropping a story on the stage. The only people who can’t drop a story are women (laughs). The saying, ‘Manzai artists should make a living by doing manzai,’ has become old-fashioned. I do what I like. I compete by how much I love what I do. I think of myself as a kind of mixed martial artist who combines drawing and comedy. So I don’t have anything to aim for as a comedian at the moment. The answer will change like a bonfire depending on the direction of the wind at the time. I think that’s fine.
Kubota says he is currently working on a new work. Finally, we asked him about his goals as a painter.
Kubota said, “In painting, people who know that they don’t need to be accepted by the public can create better works. A picture painted in the hope that it will be accepted by the public has no power. My current dream is to collaborate with Yayoi Kusama. It would be great if we could do an all-night live performance. You never know what kind of work will be created. That’s why I’m so intrigued.
It is true that Kubota’s special skill (?) is to flirt with the masters. But…
From the July 15, 2022 issue of FRIDAY
PHOTO： Shinji Hamasaki