Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Toy Roadshow Portland Part 2 of 3: Just Be Complex_Compound Gallery


The second stop on the Portland Toy Roadshow was Compound aka Just Be Complex and before that Just Be Toys. I think the name changes over the last few years reflect the changes in the store as well. From nothing but toys to toys, movies, clothing and shoes to now having the Compound Gallery. Compound was the coolest store I visited in Portland although it didn't have that many toys. The space itself is beautiful with high ceilings and an upstairs that holds the gallery. On the ground floor, you have toys, movies and a section for hipster clothing and shoes. Variety is the spice of life at Compound and it works well. Anyone from the age of 5 to probably 45 walking by and looking in the windows would have a hard time not going in and checking out the store.




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The biggest treat was the digmeout show in the Compound Gallery. 12 artists from the digmeout art agency in Japan were displaying their artwork.


Osaka Japan's Up-and-Coming Artists Take Over Portland's Compound Gallery

PORTLAND, Ore., September 6th -- Five young artists from Digmeout, one of the most successful art agencies in Japan, will be flying into Portland for their 4th annual American show on the First Thursday of September 2007. They represent the chosen few from an annual contest in which 5000 hopefuls enter their illustrations, paintings, and digital art for the chance to design for companies like Sony, Nissan, and Panasonic.

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This art opening, displaying the work of the 13 artists chosen from their 150 represented artists, marks the 4th collaboration between Digmeout and Portland's Compound Gallery. Last year's Digmeout show was fully covered and featured by Japan's primary television station, Fuji TV, and was Compound's most successful art show in 2006.

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Compound's owner Katsu Tanaka first initiated this relationship with Digmeout in an attempt to provide an opportunity that most upcoming Japanese artists would not otherwise have - American exposure. "Most of the artists showing with Digmeout are making their American debut", says Tanaka "many US companies have shown interest in these artists because they admired their work at our shows, and some of the artists are currently working on projects with these companies".

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The art opening features a The magazine spotlights the artwork of the 12 artists and furthers Digmeout's mission to expose the young artists of Osaka, Japan. The opening reception will be held on Thursday, September 6th at 7:00 pm and the show runs through September 31.

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Compound Gallery was founded in 2001 to provide a venue to expose fresh and upcoming urban and pop art to the Pacific Northwest. The gallery exhibits a variety of genres and new works by local, national, and international artists.

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Digmeout is a visual artist excavation project promoted by FM802, an Osaka-based radio station. Digmeout and FM802's goal is to assist young artists and to expose the art and culture of Osaka, rather than being overwhelmed by the constant flow of Tokyo.

To see bios and examples of all the amazing Japanese artists, CLICK HERE


I have to say for my personal tastes, amongst all the amazing Japanese talent, I was immediately drawn to an artist known at TERIYAKI. His style seems to be almost traditional, as if Michelangelo were a Japanese Hip Hop Artist. The set of four Warhol-esque skulls would look awesome in my toy room!!






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