Spoke Art is proud to present the debut solo show of Maryland-based print artist Joshua Budich. Entitled Otaku Obscura the exhibit is a colossal tribute to the some of the greatest Japanese animes of all time. Working within the constraints of six notable titles: Akira, My Neighbor Totoro, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ghost in the Shell, Princess Mononoke, and Cowboy Bebop, Budich has managed to create a wide ranging and inspired homage to the diverse history of the medium.
Comprised of character portraits, reimagined locales, and notable scenes from his favorite works, Otaku Obscura is a chance for Budich to acknowledge the anime he loves while simultaneously adding to their legacy with his own artistic interpretations. Growing up during the original Star Wars era of the 1970s and being a fan of science fiction his whole life, it’s no wonder Budich’s interests have found a muse in the history of anime. In an interview with Spoke Art he states “The hyper-stylized, frenetic animation was like a bolt of inspirational lightning to a young artist. Once I got a taste, my eyes were open to whole new world of characters and themes. No longer was I tethered to a bland, pseudo-realistic, Disney-esque approach to the drawing. Anime has had a huge influence in my work.”
A fixture in Spoke Art exhibits since 2010, Budich has achieved international acclaim for his ability to work in broad range of styles, and it is this aesthetic malleability that lends itself perfectly to the diverse landscape of anime’s history. While often pigeonholed into a singular category, the world of Japanese animation runs the gamut from the cute and cuddly to the dark and dystopian. Hayao Miyazaki’s films for example, “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Princess Mononoke”, are as elegant as they are whimsical, his themes often touch on the sensitivities of human nature, environmentalism, and the the world that surrounds us. On the other end of the spectrum are films such as “Akira”, “Ghost in the Shell”, and “Neon Genensis Evangelion". These films deal with much darker themes and story-lines, cast in post-apocalpytic visions of the future. The crestfallen protagonists in these works serve as a stark contrast to the more playful and innocent heroes of Miyazaki’s world.
Budich sets out to re-imagine these wonderfully multifaceted worlds in a variety of classic poster styles, with an emphasis on the detailed symbology of each source. The show in its entirety incorporates an assorted mix of large and small screen prints in an eclectic showing of scenes, characters, and themes.
The exhibit will be on view through October 24th.