This past weekend, Perrotin and Kasmin Gallery unveiled a joint exhibition of new works by American artist, Mark Ryden. Well known for his Pop Surrealist aesthetic that often depicts Victorian characters in eery dreamlike scenes, the artist introduces a mysterious new character called Yakalina.
Housed at Perrotin’s Tokyo location, the eponymously titled exhibition presents a number of Yakalina sculptures and accompanying drawings in various colors. Cast in bronze, Yakalina features a long conical body covered in fur, with arms outstretched in a gesture of worship. The figures on display appear mythic, containing a spirit that lends itself to popular Japanese folklore, but possessing a posture that refers to a range of classical religious art — from early Christianity and Roman catacomb frescoes to the icons and mosaics of Byzantine art.
The exhibition continues the artist’s exploration into the invisible order of the universe, in which the animal evokes a feeling of awe and mystery within the viewer. According to a statement, Ryden believes that “if you ask for your animal spirit, it will come to you. Close your eyes, look inward, and ask your animal guide to come, then keep your eyes open for a visitation.”
Yakalina 9 serves as a component to a larger solo exhibition, Animal Secrets, which will go on view at Perrotin Paris in May. The current exhibition will be on view in Tokyo until May 14.
Piramide Building, 1F,
6-6-9 Roppongi, Minato-Ku
Tokyo 106-0032, Japan