“Beautiful War” exhibition at Nanzuka Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
NANZUKA is pleased to present Beautiful War, a series of three concurrent solo exhibitions by FriendsWithYou, a Los Angeles-based art collaboration founded in 2002 by Samuel Albert Borkson (b.1979, Miami, U.S.A.) and Arturo Sandoval III (b.1976, Havana, Cuba), at NANZUKA UNDERGROUND, NANZUKA 2G, and 3110NZ by LDH kitchen.
Beautiful War presents a new body of work in the form of paintings and three-dimensional works based on FriendsWithYou’s concept of Ocean — a re-envisioning of Earth to create a unique ethos and mythology as a world unification device. This new series of work springs from the ethos and mythologies of the artist as they embark to create an open-source spiritual tool. In this new format, the artwork dances between storytelling and experience while utilizing classical motifs and a mix of new and old archetypes; a new story form that we are all part of and active participants.
Beautiful War is a paradoxical inquiry into the very essence of the human condition — as beings that possess the sensitivity to perceive “beauty” but also the competitive nature that can lead to “war.” What is indeed observed here is the intention of the artists who strive to stay true to the fundamental energies of human creativity like imagination, powers of healing, and the driving force for hope.
This exhibition presents a new body of paintings and three-dimensional works. The series of paintings reflects FriendsWithYou’s key concepts of creating art that pursues friendliness and familiarity to its utmost limit. Employing techniques of appropriation, their works depict magical and mysterious worlds in which images reminiscent of familiar characters appear, unwittingly bringing a smile to our faces. In addition, the immersive installation that invites us to venture into a different world, in ways similar to an amusement park attraction, is a series that will be showcased in Japan for the very first time.
With a mission to spread Magic, Luck, and Friendship, FriendsWithYou creates experiential work that explores emotional healing and aims to grow the love and joy in each person, while creating an environment of sharing, healing, and compassion for each other and our living planet. Their large-scale installations and immersive exhibitions are often contextualized within the framework of “relational aesthetics,” in which the work is activated only through the presence of others. However, the most notable characteristic of their body of work is its sheer intuitiveness and frequent emphasis on play that incorporates the innocent perspective of a child.
FriendsWithYou’s artworks are in the permanent collections of The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA, North Miami), NSU Art Museum (Ft. Lauderdale, FL), Montblanc International Art Collection (Hamburg, Germany), Tony Goldman Family Collection (Miami, FL), Aventura Mall (Miami, FL), Soho Beach House (Miami Beach, FL), Cedars Sinai Hospital (Los Angeles) Beth Rudin DeWoody (The Bunker, Palm Beach, FL), The Franks-Suss Collection, as well as in the private collections of Jane Holzer, Casey Wasserman, Donald Sussman, David Tisch, Ivan Reitman (Director of Ghostbusters), Pharrell Williams, Dua Lipa, Wesley Pentz (Diplo), Jose Balvin, amongst others.
They have participated in exhibitions and installations at Dallas Contemporary, The Indianapolis Museum of Art, NSU Art Museum (Fort Lauderdale), Oakland Museum of California, Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Design Exchange (Toronto), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), The High Line (New York), Santa Monica Pier (Los Angeles), Aspen Snowmass (Colorado), Art Basel Miami Beach, Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, NY), Galerie Perrotin (Miami), Colette (Paris) Anat Ebgi Gallery (Los Angeles), Gavlak Gallery (Palm Beach, FL) The Hole (New York & Los Angeles), Nanzuka 2G Gallery (Japan), among other venues. Furthermore, they created the hit animation series True and the Rainbow Kingdom on Netflix and participated in the 2018 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, which featured their iconic Little Cloud character as a float in the parade.
We look forward to welcoming you to the exhibitions.