Japanese artist Meimaro returns to The Dark Art Emporium, this time for her first U.S. solo exhibition “Devotion Bound.” I had the opportunity to see her work in the group art show “Dakuato” in 2019 and was completely taken in by her creations. What you’ll find is plenty of blood, horror and grotesque flesh.
The Work of Meimaro
Based in Tokyo, Meimaro has a background in architecture and ventured into painting years ago as a side project. She began exhibiting in 2014 and since then, her work has garnered a significant following internationally. She’s also designed exclusive artwork for CD covers, tattoos and merchandise.
Mutilated, raven-haired female figures dominate the artist’s illustrations. Spikes protrude out of bare bodies; torsos are ripped apart exposing internal organs and skeletal forms peek through skin. Meimaro has commented in past interviews that themes in her work address the darker side of human emotions, such as jealousy, and indeed this motif can be seen, as well as others.
The new series portrays a surreal story that is open to the interpretation of the spectator. From what are these women seeking release? Where are their hypnotized gazes drawn? The titles alone allow one to imagine fascinating narratives.
“Hell Gate” depicts a character sitting stoically, Indian style on the ground, void of emotion with a stare just as piercing as the thorns exiting her wounds. Others such as “New Born” and “Useless” appear to expose the torments and shame imposed on the female body with an impaled woman bent back, crying out and the other bearing maimed genitalia.
The piece that is the exhibit’s namesake, “Devotion Bound,” is an enthralling work showcasing a mountain of arms voraciously grabbing at the individual, ravaging her lower limbs.
No matter what you see when you lay eyes on this collection, it will speak to you.
Of course I had to take home some part of the exhibit, so I snagged a signed print of “Hell Gate” and scored an exclusive free tote decorated with original artwork by Meimaro.
The New & Improved DAE
In addition to debuting Meimaro’s new artwork, opening night of the exhibition was also the unveiling of The Dark Art Emporium’s new gallery space! The shop is now located in a separate room within its sister business The 4th Horseman—a pizzeria serving up hellishly good food and beer.
Owner Jeremy Schott and gallery director Jeremy Cross have transitioned DAE into a bigger space that not only allows for tons of dark art pieces to be hung on its expansive black walls, but also provides a roomy home for its taxidermy critters and numerous other oddities. Plus, an entire upper level is dedicated to its current exhibit.
The revamped place is awesome, and even the bathrooms rock. Once you find the location, you can’t miss the purple “DAE” sign hanging in front of the entrance to the pizza bar. It’s like a macabre treasure hidden inside the bowels of the restaurant.
“Devotion Bound” will be on display until April 5th. I must note that due to the current COVID-19 situation, the gallery is temporarily by appointment only.
For those preferring to not venture out, you can still view and purchase the art, signed prints and other merch at The Dark Art Emporium official website.
Have a look at Meimaro’s work featured in “Dakuato” here.