ITALY-OTOMARU Woodcut Prints

Modern version of ukiyoe painting

Ukiyoe - Japanese woodblock prints, which are now enjoyed by enthusiasts around the world, were originally the most popular printed materials depicting all the fashionable objects of the Edo period. Various publishers (publishers) released new works one after another, and colorful Ukiyo-e prints appeared on store shelves. Thousands of copies of the most popular Ukiyo-e prints were sold. The price of one piece of Ukiyoe was the equivalent of a bowl of soba noodles, making them affordable to everybody.

The theme of Ukiyoe was the popular things of the time. Ukiyoe was a reflection of the times, such as Kabuki stars and popular holiday destinations. Nowadays, they are treated as works of art, and works by Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige are very popular and very valuable, but they were originally similar to so-called promise photographs of stars or postcards you find at your travel destinations, and are like refracting the trends of the times.

In the 1990s, the last of the 20th century, when Otomaru prints were being hand printed . We can say that the 20th century was the "Century of the Automobile," and as a symbol of the "Century of the Automobile," the beautiful and lovely cars of the world, where art and industry intersected, were printed one after another. In the Edo period, would this be a collection of "famous horses"?

The same method as in the Edo period

The theme may have changed to "latest" fashions, but the method of making is the same as in the Edo period. The number of colors in a plate is made. They are layered in order to create a single picture. The more colors, the greater the number of plates. If you increase the number of colors, you can make any picture you want, but since those days, everything was done by hand. The skill of the woodcut print creators (or designers as we know it today) were measured by how to reduce the number of woodblock plates and compose a complete picture.

This issue features Italian cars!

Otomaru's prints, mainly of vintage European cars from the 1950s to the 1970s, cover a wide range of subjects such as cats and flowers, and number about 500 different types of prints. From his vast series of woodblock prints, this time he focuses on Italian cars. Even if you don't know much about cars, the combination of their designs, colorful bodies, and backgrounds is just adorable to look at! You'll find your favorite piece of art that you'll think that “ I've gotta have it !” Take a look at these cars, so expressive and full of unique characteristics!


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