Junko Mizuno in Toronto

junko-mizuno-narwhal Last weekend, I attended the Junko Mizuno exhibit at Narwhal Gallery, titled Ambrosial Affair. Comics readers might recognize Mizuno from her comic book interpretations of fairy tales.


Bacon flavoured mammary nourishment

Those familiar with Mizuno’s distinctive style will probably find this exhibit leans more heavily on the cute/sexy end of the cute-sexy-violent-menacing spectrum that makes her work so appealing. It’s also a great opportunity to examine her work up close and to see some of her rough sketches. I appreciate the decision to let attendees peek into Mizuno’s creative process.


Up close, you can see Mizuno’s use of stippling and subtle shading


There was a room of Mizuno’s graphite mockups. This piece is titled coffee.

All of the pieces in the exhibit are related to food, although the food choices themselves seem a bit random. Bacon, eggs and coffee make a nice breakfast trilogy though.


The back room had gig posters and other prints for sale, as well as sweet treats, appropriately shaped into breasts and teeth.

The pieces are displayed in a similar manner to the Toshio Saeki exhibit Narwhal hosted last year. The main pieces from the exhibit are in the front room, with process pieces in the mid-room and non-exhibit items such as prints, books and more information about the artist (including a collection of past interviews) in the back. In addition to buying original pieces, you’ll also have the chance to purchase signed gig posters and prints at a more affordable price (roughly $80-$150).

Daytona Bitch introduces Mizuno

Daytona Bitch introduces Mizuno

Shortly after, The Revue hosted a Mizuno themed burlesque show, organized by Herring Red. Each performer chose one of the pieces in Ambrosial Affair and based their costume and props on it. Most memorable was the closing number by Agatha Frisky, set to the Broadway song, Coffee Break. Her sweet demeanor, which took a murderous turn upon finding her coffee cup empty, was a clever pairing to adorably menacing characters that populate Mizuno’s work. Also enjoyable was Betsy Swoon‘s creative opening number in which she used gold streamers to represent Mizuno’s noodles. Admittedly, the quality of the performances was highly variable, but my bigger beef was probably the variant pronunciations of Mizuno’s name throughout the show. Honestly, it’s not that difficult.

Overall, a fun night. The exhibit runs until March 14th and is highly recommended if you are a fan of Mizuno’s work.