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Verne Gallery - A Gallery of Japanese Prints and Paintings
You are here > Online Catalog > Hideo Takeda > Artist Biography

b. 1948 Osaka Japan
1973 MA Sculpture Tama University Fine Arts, Tokyo

Takeda's work contains brilliant color, a fascination with pattern and dynamic movement. His warriors are clad in tattoos rather than armor. Women are depicted sometimes as horses or ships. His illustrations of the Japanese epic “Genpei” — the story of the long-ago, warring families Genji and Heike — are acclaimed for their meticulous detailing and bold imagination. Throughout his career Takeda has developed particular themes to which he still returns, “polishing and perfecting them,” he said. Tattoos recur in his work, animal skeletons, nonsensical situations, and sex. Lawrence Smith of the British Museum suggests that, "He expresses the humor, pathos, cruelty, and sheer absurdity of life". Takeda is perhaps the next great artist of bizarre imagery in Japanese prints.

Takeda began receiving one-man shows when he was 26. Two years later he was awarded the Bungei Shunju Cartoon Artists Prize. “I call myself a cartoonist, not an artist,” Takeda said. “I’m a specialist of the single-scene cartoon. I think viewers not only in Japan but also around the world can appreciate the sophisticated sense of humor that can be shown in cartoons. From the beginning I have wanted my work to be enjoyed by a wide audience.” Takeda’s ambition approached realization when his work was purchased for the collection of the British Museum, London. He sold subsequently to the British Library, London, and to the Itami City museum of Art in Hyogo Prefecture.

Takeda has stayed with cartoon art, as he claims the cartoon calls for high skill. “An artist establishes a personal and distinctive style, and usually adheres to it,” he said. “He is limited by it for most of his career. On the other hand, a cartoonist has to be flexible, capable and willing to alter his style and interpretation in order to convey his message better. No style is my style.” He prints his pictures in order to reach the wide audience he seeks. “I chose silk-screen, as I found it the easiest and most efficient medium.”

Museums: One man show at the British Museum.

Tametomo No Gookyu

dannoura genji

funa benkei

Yoshinaka No Saigo

Yoshinaka No Saigo - Hideo Takeda

Hataage

Ujigawa no Senjinarasoi

Taira no Kiyomori

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