Even with Mickey's 90th anniversary a few years behind us, Nanzuka is of the opinion that there's no wrong time to celebrate his legacy.
Enter "Mickey Mouse Now and Future," the Japanese gallery's latest exhibit held in partnership with Disney Japan and ideated as a kind of "fan gathering" between international artists. The result is a cavalcade of creative takes on the Disney iconic, courtesy of younger artists and some veritable legends alike.
Hajime Sorayama is here, for instance, a longtime Nanzuka pal who has exploded in relevance over the past few years. His giant technicolor Mickey sculpture is a far cry from his usual robot endeavors but no less futuristic.
Spanish artist Javier Calleja contributes a cutesy lil guy, London's James Jarvis opts for a minimalist take, and Tokyo-based creative Haroshi crafted some mini Mickey builds out of vinyl and repurposed skateboard decks.
I really dig the offerings from LA-based Darren Romanelli, perhaps better known as Drx Romanelli.
Romanelli is a hardcore upcycler famed for reshaping scrap into stunning furniture and patchworked apparel that skirts the lines dividing design, art, and fashion. His contributions to "Mickey Mouse Now and Future" include a set of enormous, Mickey-shaped chairs cut from vintage T-shirts printed with many more Mickeys. Mickey overload!
"For [Walt Disney,] the great creator who continued to believe in the importance and power of imagination and created Disneyland as 'the land of dreams,' Mickey Mouse is the one and only symbol that embodies his thoughts and his dreams that live on forever," said Nanzuka founder and curator Shinji Nanzuka in a statement.
Appropriately, the exhibit begins on November 19 — Mickey's birthday — at Parco Museum Tokyo.