Japanese-born street artist AIKO (a.k.a. LADY AIKO) began painting in New York City’s Lower East Side in the late 90’s. She was a founding member of the “FAILE” collective working alongside BAST, Banksy, Ben Eine and Shepard Fairey until forging a solo career in 2006. […]
Japanese-born street artist AIKO (a.k.a. LADY AIKO) began painting in New York City’s Lower East Side in the late 90’s. She was a founding member of the “FAILE” collective working alongside BAST, Banksy, Ben Eine and Shepard Fairey until forging a solo career in 2006. Her iconic hand-cut stencil works of bunnies, sexy butterfly ladies and romantic lovers can be found in cities around the world. Utilizing an eclectic and voracious mashup of Japanese and American pop culture, AIKO’s works draw further inspiration from the streets of N.Y.C., Ukiyo-e (Japanese traditional woodblock printing), Japanese Kawaii (“cute”) culture and globalized depictions of female sexuality.
Recognized in the contemporary art world as among the most important artists to emerge in the new millennium, AIKO is also well respected within the global graffiti and street art scene. She had collaborated with Banksy on the Oscar nominated documentary film, “Exit Through the Gift Shop” in 2005. In 2008, she had a two-person show, “Brick Ladies” with subway art legend, Lady Pink in Brooklyn. As a pioneer in the urban art movement for over two decades, AIKO has created murals around the world—from Shanghai to Dubai to Johannesburg, including a large-scale mural at Miami’s, Wynwood Walls in both 2009 and 2015. In 2012, she was chosen as the first woman to paint the Bowery Wall in New York’s Lower East Side, which originally came to prominence in 1982 by Keith Haring. AIKO has also been commissioned by the former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama and collaborated with high-end fashion brands such as Fendi and Louis Vuitton. Her works have been featured at MOCA L.A., Shanghai MOCA China, the Brooklyn Museum N.Y., Shizuoka Tokaido Hiroshige Museum in Japan as well as other major museums and galleries worldwide.
In 2021, URBAN NATION has proudly commissioned AIKO to paint the museum facade as the first female artist, which is also a collaboration with Martha Cooper to accompany her solo exhibition, “Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures”.