Thursday, December 7, 2017

RIP Toyo Tsuchiya

[Image via Facebook]

Toyo Tsuchiya, a well-regarded artist and photographer who documented the Lower East Side art scene of the 1980s, died in his East Village apartment on Nov. 23. He was 69. Friends said that he died of heart failure.

Here's more about him via Howl! Happening, which presented a selection of his work in November 2016:

Tsuchiya is best known for his photographs of NYC’s Lower East Side art scene in the 1980s and as an originator of the legendary Rivington School. In these highly personalized images of New York’s Lower East Side since 1980, Tsuchiya documented what was happening around him —the people, performance art, and the Lower East Side art scene — and especially the legendary underground movement of the collaborative Rivington School.

Born near Mt. Fuji in Japan, Tsuchiya grew up in Kyushu and Yokohama. After graduating from the Kanagawa Ken Technical High School for Industrial Design he began his career as an artist. Living in Osaka, Yokohama, and Tokyo, he studied and exhibited paintings, drawings and collage within a small circle of the 1970’s art world in Tokyo. In the late 70s he turned to photography, and soon moved to New York City.

Tsuchiya was a creative force behind the No Se No Social Club, the stage for many art happenings, including the 99 Nights, a marathon of free performances and exhibitions. In his photographs, Tsuchiya captures the style, energy, and free-spirited creativity of the time, and contextualized these happenings in a fine-art lineage.

On Tuesday, fellow Rivington School artist Monty Cantsin honored Tsuchiya on an East Village rooftop, where he painted the "6 O'Clock" Rivington School logo and Toyo's name before roping the piece off with (legally acquired) police tape.

[Photo by Adrian Wilson]

The following is courtesy of Adrian Wilson:

Cantsin spent four years working with Tsuchiya to collate photographs, posters and other ephemera relating to the Rivington School artists, publishing the first comprehensive book on the oft-lamented art group. Many of the Rivington School artists spread into the East Village, notably Linus Corraggio, who ran the Gas Station gallery on Avenue B at Second Street for a decade from 1985.

Longtime East Village resident Roman Albear was working closely with Toya on a Rivington School documentary, and only three weeks ago managed to bring six of the artists together for the first time in over 30 years to discuss their memories on film.

Sadly, this would be the last time Toyo appeared on camera (far left).

[Photo by Adrian Wilson]


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this, Grieve. I'm always edified to learn more of our local artistic lineages. Very nourishing for the present. Rest in Power, Toyo.

Anonymous said...

I knew Toyo from Mars Bar. Super nice person and wonderful artist. He will be missed. RIP.

Anonymous said...

He did alot of amazing carpentry work for me, and I used to watch his cats... loved him...he was the best... the spirit is forever and eternal Toyo .<3

Anonymous said...

wow this guy seems cool as shit. RIP.

Anonymous said...

Toyo was a kind soul and a curious spirit. RIP Toyo!

linua coraggio said...

linus coraggio here. toyo had the key quality of a photographer,he was invisible,i was never aware of him
even holding a camera,let alone snapping a picture. the opposite of the classic obnoxious vibe stealing
paparazzi type shutterbug like a baird jones,(who also shot in rivington school territory).

i thought toyo was around 60 not 70 years old. he acted like a goofy,naive kid most of the time,full of wonder.

i'm pissed he smoked too much and probably helped off himself when he had many more creative years within him. also how dare he leave the rivington school with no documentarian to disseminate his brilliant
insightful views into a wild and seminal 1980's art movement. he was very concerned and discerning about with who
and where his photos ended up,so i want his work to continue to be seen and not die with him. take note
anyone with access to his pictorial trove! feel free to contact me if i can help. at least the rivinton school
book came out before his death(''rivington school,80's new york underground''-available online).
that's one place someone can see his amazing work.