western cultures are usually obsessed with japanese things, particularly food, cars, and technological gadgets. however, japanese art forms are in most cases overlooked or flat out ignored, except perhaps for origami, which became popular a few years ago. we recently came across a technique that became widely used in the 17th and 18th centuries, called moku hanga, which translates to woodblock printing. this technique had various sub-genres, the most famous of which was the ukiyo-e, or pictures of the floating world.
mostly, artists which engaged in the technique are very difficult to track, particularly because most of them adopted pseudonyms according to the school they belonged to; and in some cases apprentices would acquire the pseudonym of their masters once these had passed away. this approach, gives the impression that artists were more interested in spreading their art organically, without the need for big sums of money or fame. however, there are a few woodblock painters who became more renowned and thus highly profitable, such is the case of hiroshige and kunisada.
below you can find a selection of some our other favorite ukiyo-e prints. for more info regarding this wonderful genre of japanese art, its history, and some of its main artists, check out this wikipedia entry.
cody hudson is a chicago based, all-purpose artist with a passion for clean, multi-dimensional graphics. he takes influence from old-school graphic designers, such as paul rand, bruno munari, and josef muller-brockmann. his work has been exhibited around the globe in several important outlets, such as the museum of contemporary art in chicago, rocket gallery in tokyo, or the lazy dog in paris. he has also worked with different clothing brands like stussy, nike, or sixpack france.
cody’s main endeavor takes the form of struggle inc., a commercial art house which takes cue from urban modernism and organic visual deconstruction. whatever that means, we are absolutely in love with his work. not only is cody entrenched with commercial projects, but he’s also open for public works, such as a permanent installation at the white sox/35th CTA station as part of the arts in transit program, which was commissioned by the city of chicago.
another facet of cody’s work takes form in his wood-based installations. he mostly uses different pieces of scrap wood, which he claims to find in a close-by dumpster in the neighborhood where he keeps his studio. we also dig his album cover pieces, particularly the one he did for the berg sans nipple, seen below.
it’s hard to find an artist who does one thing well, but cody seems to have no problem working with so many different clients and mediums. perhaps this is simply a way for him to remain interested in what he does; either way the man can do no wrong at the moment, and we can’t wait to see what he’s got up his sleeve next!