My friend Kenji never ceases to amaze me and at the same time he doesn’t at all. He is the perfect mix of God-given talent and insane self-discipline. I don’t think there’s ever a night that I call him that he isn’t in his studio…which is where he spends the majority of his time after his full-time job. His art is his passion and that’s why he is on the cover of the Boston Phoenix and that is also why he has an upcoming solo show in New York City later this year.
I’ve told this story before and I will tell it again. I met Kenji Nakayama in my shop, Proletariat, back in 2005, right after we moved into the Garage in Harvard Square. His English was poor, but his passion was enough to make me like him instantly. He told me he was a painter (everyone was in my shop) and asked if he could bring some of his work to show me sometime. I of course said yes but I wasn’t at all prepared for what I was about to experience. He brought me one of his insane stencils of a train and I bought it on the spot. I didn’t even have enough cash to pay the very low asking price because I had sunk it all in my shop so I paid half in cash and half in paint, and a friendship was born. Kenji is worthy of any praise he gets – he is an amazingly dedicated and talented artist, and yet he remains a humble, hilarious, regular guy. Congrats Kenji! Everyone here at TTHU is proud to call you a friend.
Make sure you pick up a copy of the Boston Phoenix this week.