JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure creator Hirohiko Araki was invited to give his impressions on paintings featured at “The Cubist Revolution”. The exhibition is held in Japan from October 3, 2023 to January 28, 2024. It showcases a collection of paintings from The Centre Pompidou in Paris.
NHK’s E-Tele channel broadcasted the recording last week on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2023, as part of the TV program “Sunday Art Museum”(日曜美術館). They will rebroadcast it next week on January 7, 2024, at 8:00 P.M. JST.
Woman in an Armchair by Pablo Picasso (1909-1910)
Looking at this painting as a manga artist, I wonder if it would sell if it were drawn in a manga. Would a magazine accept it? I kinda doubt it, but there’s something very important in this painting. In fact, it stands out. Especially, say if there’s furniture around, this painting would be even better—or rather, it would dominate the interior design. I think a house would sell if it had this painting in it.
With its charm, it might draw in those who appreciate art, perhaps enticing someone who finds the woman portrayed in this painting to be pretty or beautiful, to buy it. They might see it as a truly artistic piece. But I think that Cubism is really most attractive when it’s displayed in a house. I’m not a collector, but if I were to buy a piece of art, it would be a Cubist work.
If you had such a painting in your house, I think it would transform the feel of the place. What’s incredible about Picasso is that he captures a wide range of emotions all at once. It’s like he’s writing through his art about the mind or the thoughts of this woman in the painting. That’s what I feel he’s conveying here. For example, maybe the woman is sad, or perhaps there’s some mysterious past, I feel like it portrays multiple emotions that make you imagine various things. In the case of Picasso, that might be his greatness. From my opinion as a manga artist, at least.Hirohiko Araki
Buste de Femme, by Pablo Picasso (1907)
What I really like about this painting, or what I find amazing, is that even though it’s just a normal sitting pose, there’s a bit of posing going on. First off, the position of her chest is unusually high. I guess it seems to be emphasized for balance, but it also contributes to the unique character. And then there’s this sort of look where she’s gazing to the back or to the side, but it also feels a bit like the Mona Lisa, where she’s slightly angled to the front.
Also, manga is mostly drawn from the reader’s perspective, like this (points forward). But that’s because it’s a manga or a magazine cover, right? When you hang a picture on the wall, if you draw the eyes too clearly, it can be kind of scary when it’s overly clear. Like it’s always staring at you. And it looks like Picasso darkened that area. He drew the eyes quite large but only in brown and black, which I think is emotional Cubism. It lets you imagine various emotions, like the mystery of this woman, or what she might be looking at in the distance.
Another thing that I really like is the nose in this painting. See how it protrudes here? If you just painted this area normally, it would look mundane. But the way it’s done, with this sort of explosive touch, makes it quite unique. If it were just the cheeks, the painting might seem somewhat plain and uninteresting. But the face also looks surprisingly cute, doesn’t it? The way some parts are tinged with pink, and even the mouth has a sort of cuteness to it. I think it’s quite charming.
And then, the background, it’s a golden aurora, right? It feels like there’s an aura or light emanating from her. There’s also the area around her chin, with the blue mixed in—it’s all part of the feeling it gives off. I like it. I think it’s wonderful. Powerful. I feel like it’s probably intended to enhance the balance and mystique.Hirohiko Araki
La Ville de Paris by Robert Delaunay (1910-1912)
This is a painting of three nearly naked women, called the ‘Three Graces’, dancing. They’re basically spinning around. Their spinning is integrated with elements like the sky, and maybe trees in a park. In addition, the landscapes and buildings seem to blend into one, merging and then deconstructing into this single painting. I think that’s likely the intention here.
I believe what this portrays is the flow of time or history. It’s about breaking down these landscapes and incorporating them into this rhythmic flow, giving a sense of the passage of time. From this painting, I feel the flow of time in a city like Paris, and it seems to be attempting to express something very profound.Hirohiko Araki
The JOJOLands by Hirohiko Araki (2023)
[Translated by Vish]
So, coincidentally, unrelated to the Cubism exhibition with the works from The Centre Pompidou, I happened to be drawing in a Cubist style for my ongoing work. This is a copy of the manga that I brought with me. It might be a bit small to see. It’s a manga page where this evil enemy attacks, and this guy can transform into the sky.
I wanted to draw a scene with flying, birds, and clouds together, but with a person in it. While drawing something like that, I thought it looked like Cubism, and just when I was doing that, I was asked to come to today’s class.
You can see the clouds and buildings. I was probably a bit influenced by this style. It’s quite difficult to draw him blending in with the clouds. Really challenging. I just thought it looked similar to Cubism, so I went with it. It wasn’t really planned, just happened to be.Hirohiko Araki
About The JOJOLandsThe JOJOLands is the ninth part of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure by Hirohiko Araki. It began serialization on February 17, 2023 in the March 2023 issue of Ultra Jump. Set in Hawaii, it involves Jodio Joestar and his elder sibling Dragona Joestar working as small-time gangsters. Jodio describes it as being a tale of him becoming extremely rich.
It takes place in the same continuity as the seventh and eighth parts of the series, Steel Ball Run and JoJolion.