It’s a party! It’s a dog party!

My son loves a good party.  But a good party for a kid is invariably different from a good party for an adult.  A good party for a kid involves cake, coloring, frenetic movement.  For an adult, it’s all contingent on standing around, drinking wine.  Luckily, the Mad Dog Party down at hpgrp studio had it all.

Spoon+Fork‘s Bryan Ong was on hand with Rika Koreeda to pour wine.

Rika’s wearing a shirt with one of Seitaro Kuroda’s dog drawings on it – which was designed by Bryan.

Kuroda-san in front of his work.

Meanwhile, Bryan’s sister, Tawny, who is a baker, catered the event and pulled out all the stops.  There were cupcakes and confections everywhere and my son pretty much a made a dinner for himself of mini-chocolate, red velvet, and hummingbird cupcakes while washing it all down with bananna pudding and fistful after fistful of peanut butter cookies (shaped as dogbones).

But the real party started when my son says to me, “I wanna draw” and Bryan says “You wanna draw with Kuroda-san?”

Next thing I know, my son is with Kuroda-san, sprawled out on the gallery floor with a box of Cray-pas and a sheet of paper, drawing dogs.


Cameras are flashing and people are taking footage of their collaboration.  One woman came up to me and says “You do know how famous Mr. Kuroda is, don’t you?”

Well, I do now.

Interestingly, Kuroda-san’s whole philosophy is about interconnection and how we are all connected or can build these connections with each other through art.  He’s also about making art accessible – not just in pricepoint (his dog drawings are $500 a piece and had sold about a dozen during the opening/closing) but also in approach.  To closeout the evening, Kuroda-san did a live demonstration of his drawing to the soundtrack of Tom Waits, and invited everyone in the gallery to join him.

Kuroda-san and co.

We all join in

Bryan and Rika

This is the collaborative audience painting from the opening on Tuesday night (on the left) and ours from the closing last night (on the right).

The painting from the opening looks very somber to me, and makes me think of all the stuffy art people that come to these things.

If I were make an analogy, I would say that the dark painting is like light soysauce.  Very serious.

Meanwhile, our painting is joy!  Kuroda-san used wine to blur some of the lines on the painting so not only did it look good, it smelled good.  If I were to make an analogy, I would say that our painting is like mayonnaise.  It’s tasty and just makes you smile.

At the end of the night, Kuroda-san gave my son his box of Cray-pas, and my son showed his thanks by wriggling along the gallery floor like a little worm, rockin’ the baddest sugar-high of any eight-year old, clutching the box of Cray-pas to his chest.

“I’m the luckiest kid alive!” he told me.

Which goes to show, a few bottles of wine, (a spoonful of sugar), a handful of crayons, and some Tom Waits in the background, and you can keep the party going for just about anyone.

A mighty, mighty thanks to Bryan, Rika, Tawny, Kuroda-san, Taku-san, and hpgrp gallery director Shuhei Yamatani-san.  We have the worst cake and pudding hangover, and we couldn’t be happier.

1 Comment »

  1. Kurt said

    I just enjoy the GO, DOG, GO reference of the blog entry myself… Seems like the whole event was great fun!

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