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Mariko was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. After the second World War, the Emperor of Japan was no longer thought of as a god by the Japanese, and the people lost the way to think about their lives. They began to think that "big" is good and western culture is to be emulated. In the schools, teachers no longer taught the traditional Japanese art forms such as Sumi or Iwaenogu. Instead they taught watercolor and oil pastel.

When Mariko was a student of the Musashino Art University in Tokyo, she studied the art history of Europe, post impressionism and art nouveau. Her teacher mentioned that it was Japanese woodcuts that aroused a serious interest in far eastern art among western painters. These woodcuts began to be imported to Paris soon after trade between Japan and the West had been opened in 1854. They remained in vogue for more than half a century.

Mariko wanted to learn the Japanese way to simplify. Soon after, she knocked on the door of the master of Urasenge. She learned Ikebana from this master as a way of simplification and composition.

She was not interested in Dadaism, Dali's surrealism, Eros, Gross and the "nonsense" which was the art in Japan in the 1950's, 60's and 70's. She was disgusted and exhausted from that kind of art. In the middle of the 1970's, Mariko started to become fascinated with American realism (called Super realism in Japan).

After a stressful life as an interior designer, she desired to move away from the world of human complexities in a concrete and plastic jungle, into a simpler world of nature. In 1982, Mariko moved to Mendocino, California from Tokyo. She started to paint pictures more than ever before. Luckily she met Bill Martin, an internationally known realism painter, and from him she learned American realism.

In 1999, Mariko, accompanied by her two sons, returned to Japan for a visit to her family. She says that she went through a 16-year time tunnel during that visit. Mariko now feels that in her paintings Japanese spirit meets American realism. She seeks people's relaxed smiles as they look at her paintings.

Mariko has been numerous solo and group shows, receiving prizes and having selected for the Winesong '95 poster. She is represented in the Northcoast Artists in Fort Bragg, the Mendocino Art Center, and the Highlight Gallery in Mendocino.

Click here to visit her other website.

 

MARIKO IRIE
10391 Blair St
Mendocino Ca 95460

707-937-3346
or


e-mail: mariko@mariko-irie.com



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