My latest cityscape painting is a nostalgic homage to an earlier chapter of my life. It is a chapter that opens up to nearly all self-respecting gaijins newly arrived in Tokyo.
My chapter began in late 1997. We had arrived on the day that Princess Diana lost her life in that car crash in Paris. What I remember of those first few weeks is wall to wall coverage of the funeral on BBC World, Nihongo lessons during the daytime at Berlitz, and evenings spent exploring the nightlife of Roppongi.
Those evenings would be spent in the company of other British School parent couples, work colleagues or friends and visitors from overseas.
Many of you may be familiar with the routine. Starting off perhaps in one of the pubs - Trading Places, The Sports Bar or Paddy Foley`s. Then the obligatory Karaoke session. Possibly a couple of hours at Club Be listening to host-vocalist `Hugh` and his sweet sweet band belt out Highway Star or Have you ever seen the rain? crammed into that tiny basement down one of those side streets. And then if you were really going for it you would drop into one or the other (or sometimes all three) of the preferred shot bars: Motown, Mogambo`s or Geronimo!
Hence the name of this painting.
It depicts the view from the north-western corner of Roppongi crossing, looking through and under the highway and down Gaien Higashi-Dori; part of Tokyo Tower can be seen in the distance. The broad concrete stanchions of the freeway frame the composition.
The palette is muted. Pastel shades, no bright primary colours. I would like you to imagine that you have just emerged blinking from Geronimo after a long long session to find that it is daylight outside. The soft light of a grey dawn suffuses the air but despite the earliness of the hour there is a queue of traffic at the lights, mostly cabs cruising for big fares taking the punters home.
Your hangover has not yet started to announce its presence but you know the onset is not far off. You are faced with a critical decision: hail that cab or settle the stomach with an Egg McMuffin and a strong black coffee....
This original oil painting measures 90 x 65 cms and is available for sale upon application. I am also thinking of doing a limited edition print run as at 15,000 yen each these cityscape prints have been very popular. If you are interested in one of these prints then let me know. If enough of you respond then I will go ahead with the prints.
I hope that this might represent for you - as for me - a pleasant reminder of some fun times in a certain chapter of the journey of life in Japan.