For Assignment two of the studio class, I was assigned the artist Kenn Sakurai. Kenn Sakurai, also known as esm-artificial is a street artist who devotes his time designing playful, artistic graphics. After seeing his work for the first time I couldn’t help but respect the simplicity of his designs. Many times there is only one image presented. This allows the viewer to focus on the message or for the majority, humor that is associated with the graphic that is often accompanied by text. In this case I was able to respect the simplistic humor of the art work. An example would be his work titled, “give a shit”. I also noticed that he is interested in exploring deferent mediums. He doesn’t hold anything back, and when I first reviewed his projects I was sometimes uncomfortable with how blunt they were. This can be seen in many of his prints and products such as “I just fuckin love you”. He seems like a very creative and humorous artist.
After reading The Making of Space, Race and Place by Maggie Dickenson I found that esm-artificial similarly resembles the quotes by Taki. Taki is an artist that tagged his name every place he traveled to. All he said is that he “did it for himself”. Though Kenn Sakurai (esm-artificial) does not tag his name he seems to be extremely keen on tagging his stickers in places around the world. It is very likely because Sakurai is trying to become more recognizable but it is unknown and also unjustified. The process of graffiti becoming illegal, “affected the practitioners’ ability to represent themselves and their practice, and to argue for its validity and worth.” In the majority of Kenn Sakurai’s projects, messages are imbedded. The issue is that without explanation sometimes it is hard to uncover the secret. Sakurai produces many works other than on public spaces that can be considered vandalism. He also commissions work, is a graphic designer, and sells work such as prints and artwork in a gallery setting. This change to a more legal and less public form of art very likely could be related to the enforcement against graffiti in public settings.