Following is an excerpt from Takeshi Yamada’s new fine art
book entitled “Takeshi Yamada’s Museum of World Wonders”.
Based on the numerous personal interviews with Yamada,
following manuscript was produced by Dr. Eriko N. Bond,
noted art critic and book author in New York City. The
images of artworks featured here were all provided by the
artist, Takeshi Yamada, from his Artist’s Fine Art Library
of the Yamada Art Center, strictly for the book publication.
The Sideshowworld.com obtained special permission from
Takeshi Yamada to feature this segment of the above
mentioned book in the website for our audience.
“Three Eyed God, Goddess, and Muses”
by Takeshi Yamada at Fox Building Gallery of the Maryland
Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland during May
and June, 1984.
“Three Eyed God, Goddess,
and Muses” is Takeshi Yamada’s first show featuring oddities
and curiosities for public viewing in the United States. It
was less than half year since Yamada moved to the United
States as a best and only student qualified to be the part
of the international student exchange program of Osaka
University of Arts in Osaka, Japan in 1983. Yamada first
studied at California College of Arts and Crafts, then flew
across the continent to complete his Bachelor of Fine Art
Degree at the Maryland Institute College of Arts in
Two dozens of miniature oil
paintings on silver spoons and ceramic plates simulating the
Italian high Renaissance were created by Takeshi Yamada
specifically for this show. (These artworks have nothing to
do with his classes at the MICA.)
Here are photographs of
some of the artworks by Yamada displayed at the prestigious
educational institution. To create this series of artworks,
this young virtuoso often asked his class mates at school to
photograph them in weekend in variety of poses and costumes.
Yamada also took basic photograph class to perfect his
special techniques to manipulate the resource photographs in
the darkroom to be used for his final oil paintings.
Three-eyed Muse, oil on
button, 3 inch, 1983. The painting in the right is the first
artwork Yamada created after arriving in the United States.
The left is his second artwork.
(left) three-eyed Goddess,
oil on silver spoon, 1984 (center) three eyed skull, oil on
silver spoon, 1984 (right) three-eyed God, oil on silver
spoon, 1984. In these artworks, the concept of Ying and
Yang - oneness of life and death – were represented
simultaneously. This concept led him to start creating a
series of super realism street scene paintings with floating
ghost in 1983. (See following chapter on this in great
Three-eyed Muses, oil on
extra deep worn out silver spoons 1984
NOTE: This author is
compelled to add following information to deepen the
understanding and appreciations of the audience of Takeshi
Yamada. Yamada did not suddenly started creating portrait
paintings of three-eyed people after arriving the United
States. In reality, it was just the extension and
evolutional; stages of what he had been doin in Japan then.
As early as 1983 in Osaka, Japan, Yamada started creating a
series of oil paintings on canvasses featuring three-eyed
muses in the 16th century settings, often accompanied by
three-eyed skulls. These artworks reflect his passion in
studying alchemy. For example, the floating egg above
people’s head is an egg of alchemy - perfect container of
time, space and life – symbol of God and gold. All the
people in his portrait paintings (including his
self-portrait paintings) have six fingers instead of normal
five fingers; twelve is a number of the universal truth and
magic number in alchemy. Here are a few examples of oil
paintings created by Yamada in Japan.
Three-Eyed Muse in Red,
24x29 inch, 1983, oil on canvas. Detail in the right.
Three-Eyed Muse in Blue,
21x29 inch, 1983, oil on canvas. Detail in the right.
Self-porttait, oil on
canvas, 24x29 inch, 1983, oil on canvas. He usually wore his
mother’s hand-made studio shirt as seen here when he painted
in Japan. Varieties of cross cultural symbolism were
rendered in this painting such as Greek crown, universal
egg, third eye, six-fingered hand, crossing of fingers, a
hand at his chest, feet next to his head, jewelry on his
cloths, shoulder drape, usage of ivory black paint, etc.
Also note the red bands painted at the both side of this
artwork. The color and design were inspired by the ancient
Buddhism paintings and traditional old American circus
(C) Eriko N. Bond, 2005,
(C) Takeshi Yamada 2006