Artist paints abstract mural for Aggieville art store

Live painting performance by Enrico Isamu Oyama during Art in Motion event at the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art on October 7, 2017 (File Photo by Saya Kakim| Collegian Media Group)

As part of a collaboration between the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art and modern abstract artist Enrico Isamu Ōyama, an intricate black mural has been painted on the side of Little Apple Art Supply in Aggieville. The Beach Museum is also featuring Ōyama’s exhibit, entitled “Ubiquitous.”

“Ubiquitous” is an exhibition displaying Ōyama’s interests in Tokyo and American street cultures, Western abstract art and Japanese calligraphy. Much of his work features stark contrasts between black and white.

The idea for the new mural in Aggieville came from a conversation between Ōyama and Aileen June Wang, associate curator at the Beach Museum.

“When I was offered the opportunity of a solo show at the Beach Museum of Art, the curator Aileen and I discussed and decided to have an outdoor mural as one component of the show,” Ōyama said.

Ōyama and Wang discussed several potential locations for the mural, including a billboard, before Wang made an agreement with Ruth Ridder, owner of Little Apple Art Supply.

“I talked to the landlord and was reluctant initially because I didn’t want the brick to be painted on,” Ridder said.

The mural, which is currently incomplete, can be found on the outside of Little Apple Art Supply’s building.

Ōyama isn’t working on this mural alone. He is also receiving some assistance from Patricia Melton, senior in Entrepreneurship and his own private staff.

“On Oct. 3, I worked on it alone,” Ōyama said. “But Patricia [Melton] from the art department will be an assistant for further process. She, along with two others, was also my assistant for installing another piece at the Mark A. Chapman Gallery in the Willard building this week.”

Ōyama said his unique art style has a variety of influences.

“I’m very influenced by the aerosol writing culture of 1970s – ’80s New York where writers painted their name on subway trains, so that mural has been an important art form for my practice,” Ōyama said.

Students who have seen Ōyama’s art on the side of the Little Apple Art Supply building said they don’t know what the mural means, and they have created their own interpretations for it.

“It represents anxiety and clutterness and confusion of the inner self,” Amanda Palmer, graduate student in criminology, said.

Other students said they are excited to see the mural when it is completed.

“I love this,” Jennifer Vogt, senior in apparel and textiles, said. “It’s going to be amazing.”

Ōyama will be working on the mural until the end of October. The Beach Museum will show his art exhibit until Dec. 23.