This past weekend, the Mid-City Arthouse in Los Angeles honored animation luminary Hayao Miyazaki and his works with a Miyazaki Tribute Gallery for the ages. The show featured submitted works from an array of talented artists, working in multiple media. But they had one thing in common: a rabid devotion to one of the most inspiring individuals in contemporary popular art.
The sweltering heat didn’t deter crowds from cramming into the Mid-City Arthouse event space August 6-7th to celebrate a truly original voice in mainstream animation. The Miyazaki Tribute Gallery drew visitors old and young, rabid and casual. Miyzazaki-themed cocktails were on tap, prints sold like hotcakes, but the main draw was, of course, the art.
It was beautiful to see Miyazaki through the lens of those aspiring talents who adore him. The artists in attendance drew from the animator’s entire filmography, though favorites were clear, and to be expected. Predictably, Studio Ghibi heavyweights like Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and My Neighbor Totoro made up the majority of the works. Illustrators and painters adopted the telltale iconography from all three films, to produce a range of compositions. Of course there were more illustrative prints, but also present were design-like patterns, collage, mixed-media, and even a gorgeously crafted felt sculpture.
While more obscure works were a tad under-represented (why no love for my favored Porco Rosso?), the artists also featured side-character favorites like the susuwatari soot spirits, No Face (of course!), the Forest Spirit from Princess Mononoke, and even a Lupin-inspired piece!
Perhaps the most exciting moments happened when you could see Miyazaki’s works truly reimagined in another artist’s style. That’s when the creator’s influence and spirit are concretely reincarnated and immortalized. At that moment, you’re not just a Miyazaki fan, but someone who believes in the generations of works that will bear his imprint.
Disappointed that you’d missed it? Don’t sweat it! This is Los Angeles after all–there’s a gallery opening basically every evening, and we’ll try our best to keep you updated. Let us know if there’s anything we should check out, and support your local galleries!
Photos taken with FujiFilm XM1 Mirrorless Camera.