"Mr. Skull and the Mermaids Tale" time travels between Edo ( old Tokyo ) and Brooklyn, two of my favorite cities. I was inspired by Kuniyoshi's woodblock print of a skeleton which is based on an old Japanese story of a princess who called the skeleton monster for protection. In my mural he is coming to meet Brooklyn mermaids crossing over Hokusai's great waves in the Pacific Ocean. Hokusai was a master of ukiyoe wood block print and street art in Edo period. The piece is a tribute to the lovers story and to traditional Japanese street culture and street art. The mural was made with 125 hand-cut stencils.
AIKO was born and raised in Tokyo before moving to New York City in the mid-90's.
Already creating art since a young age, her art career in NYC began when she started working for Takashi Murakami. She apprenticed in Murakami’s studio in Brooklyn and worked for him until the late 90's going on to a direct a digital biography on the artist ("Superflat" 1998). AIKO continued to practice her own art and after leaving Murakami’s studio graduated from The New School University where she finished her MFA Media Studies and later met up with two American artists, the three of them would come to establish the group now known as FAILE. Creating work within the collective locally and abroad for a number of years, she moved on and established herself as Lady AIKO in 2006.
AIKO continues to create work in the studio as well as public space. She is acclaimed in the contemporary art world and well-respected within the international graffiti and street art scene. She had a two-person show "Brick Ladies" with Lady Pink in Brooklyn in 2008, and she worked with Banksy on "Exit Through the Gift Shop" in 2010. Her large scale works indoors and outdoors are installed in many cities, including Miami's Wynwood Walls in 2009, New York City's Bowery Wall in 2013, and Coney Art Walls in 2015, all three curated by Jeffrey Deitch. AIKO has also been involved in a large collection of group shows, from "AnimamixBiennale" at Shanghai’s MoCA in 2009 to "Edo Pop" at Japan Society NYC in 2013, to her more recent solo show, "Sweet Heart" at The Outsiders Gallery in the UK in 2014.
AIKO has also been commissioned to create works in collaboration with Louis Vuitton, Coach, The Standard, W Hotel, Hello Kitty, Isetan and Warner Bros. etc.