Mr.'s anime- and manga-inspired Phoenix Art Museum exhibit is a first for the Southwest

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2023 - 11:23am
Updated: Saturday, February 25, 2023 - 9:14am

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Maybe I
Mr./Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd.
“Maybe I'll Go to the Convenience Store - Summer Is Coming,” acrylic paint and silkscreen print on canvas, 2021

Japanese artist Mr. created his largest piece of work to date recently, and it hangs in the Phoenix Art Museum right now.

It is a massive collage — packed full of countless details, from anime-inspired characters and video game-looking emojis to words in English and Japanese. The longer you look at it, the more you see.

It’s part of Mr.’s solo show at Phoenix Art right now — “You Can Hear the Song of This Town” — and he says it’s intended to capture the intricacies of a human mind in a single instant.

The show was curated by former Phoenix Art Curator Gilbert Vicario, who said he was drawn to the manga-inspired work of Mr. for a lot of reasons — beginning with just how different it is from what we’re used to seeing here in the Southwest. The Show spoke with him more about it.

Miki sculpture by Mr.
Airi Katsuta
“Miki,” part of “Mr.: You Can Hear the Song of This Town” at the Phoenix Art Museum in 2022.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story and accompanying audio have been modified to correct Gilbert Vicario’s first name.

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