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“Garden of Earthly Delights” #6: Interview with Hori Miso


Untitled by Hori Miso

I can’t quite remember the exact story of how I met Hori Miso, but I am very honored to have met him. Hori Miso has created many pieces of art and wheatpaste over the years, and my appreciation for his work has only grown. He designed the logo for my show, Dieg’s Wave. I am proud to have become his apprentice to assist with his projects. Unfortunately, COVID has forced me to return back home to Texas, so I have not been able to help Hori Miso in recent months. As a way of helping him from a distance, I asked him for an interview.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Hori Miso. Thank you for taking the time to chat for a bit. Let me start by saying that art is a drug and I am 1,000% hooked. I love the way it looks, the way it sounds and the way it makes me feel. For me, art drowns out the world and takes me to a place in my mind where they’re are no rules or restraints. I love the artistic process. Taking an idea and making it real, making something from nothing. Art is life’s greatest magic trick, making things appear out of thin air. I was raised and still reside in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. I’ve always been attracted to the pulse of the city. I’ve always looked for a medium to compliment that. Through a chance encounter I met @action_street_art who introduced me to wheatpasting. WHEATPASTING: applying an image, usually on a public space, with paste. It was perfect! The idea of my street pieces having a lifespan, an organic, temporal and sometimes unpredictable nature married perfectly with the idea of a living, ever changing city.

When did you start your wheatpasting and how long have you been wheatpasting?

I started wheatpasting about two years ago. Although my work is based in Pilsen, it can been seen throughout the city. I’ve also had the opportunity to wheatpaste in San Diego [California] and Tokyo, Japan.

How much do your artworks reflect your passions and interests?

My artwork is a direct reflection of who I am. My work is heavily influenced by 90’s Hip Hop, Sneakers, Tokyo street art and the Japanese aesthetic. Although at times these inspirational elements stand alone in my work, most often they melt together to create something entirely new.

I know you’ve visited Japan at least once. Did that visit strengthen or change your desire to continue your art?

I visit Japan often. It’s like my Energon Cube. Japan recharges me spiritually, mentally and creatively. My work attempts to recreate the feeling of a midnight in Tokyo. Vibrant, loud, to the point and sometimes in your face. Throughout the years I’ve had a chance to meet so many amazing creative people out there. Artists, chefs, musicians, mixologists and just people who do their thing. Most recently, I met the artist @hanautah in Tokyo through a mutual friend. His work is so good! What was supposed to be a quick meet up turned into a day of eating, drinking and toy shopping. If you keep it genuine, it will attract the same. Good people, good vibes, good times. These relationships keep me connected to Japan. Graffiti and street art are such a cultural force out there, it’s undeniable. Being able to wheatpaste in Tokyo was so important to me because I was able to leave a little piece of me in a place that’s given me so much.

Wheatpastes by Hori Miso in Tokyo

On the 8 bus, I’ve seen some of your wheatpaste, like the Pikachu near Maxwell, but I remember the IPA label you designed. Did you feel that designing a label for Marz was a stepping stone for you to get more exposure?

Designing a beer label for Marz Brewing was such an incredible experience. I’m not one to pass up a good beer, so yeah, I’ve been a fan since day one. After seeing some of my street work, Marz Brewing owner Ed Marszewski reached out to me to create a Daruma influenced label for his Dry IPA beer. Working with Ed was a pleasure. I was given 1,000% creative freedom on that project which made it all the more fun. The project was great exposure for me as an artist. It introduced me to a whole new demographic and I hope I gave people something cool to look at while sippin’ on some suds. I’m currently working on a project with Marz which will be completed later this year and hopefully we can continue to work together in the future.

1st image: Hori Miso painting for Co-Prosperity; 2nd image: The “Hori Miso” IPA

Continuing about exposure, you’ve recently had a gallery showing at Rotofugi, how was that for you? Were you nervous, excited?

My show at Rotofugi was a dream come true. I’ve been a fan since they were located on Chicago Ave. Those with a little age and experience remember the Chicago Ave location. Walking into their space takes me to the 8th dimension. A space of endless creativity. A space filled with art and toys and color. When they reached out to me to have my first solo show there I couldn’t say “YES!” fast enough. I’ve always felt a connection, a familiarity with Rotofugi. So the initial nerves were quelled fairly quickly and replaced with utter excitement. I am happy to say that I will have a follow up show there in the future.

That’s awesome! I’ve seen you have been working on a website, is there anything to look out for in the future? More shirts and stickers?

I always say…. learn something new every day. Well I learned really quick that I have no idea how to create a website. Fortunately, I have super human friends that are helping me with that. When complete, the site will be a way to extend my reach as an artist and be a point of connection for future projects. Original work, prints, stickers and clothing will also be available for purchase through the site.

Wheatpastes by Hori Miso around Chicago

With me being your assistant for some of your projects, I have gotten to know you. One thing I’ve learned is that you are a fan of New Order. What are your top 5 New Order songs?

Yeah, thank you again for helping me with those projects. Top 5 New Order songs? Here they are in no particular order. “Ceremony”, “Temptation”, “Age of Consent”, “True Faith”, and “Blue Monday”. I was supposed to catch New Order in New York City at Madison Square Garden in September. COVID strikes again! Still bummed about that one.

Yeah, I was looking forward to seeing New Order, Bauhaus and Ministry. Seeing all that you have accomplished, is there anything you would’ve gone back to change?

I wouldn’t change a thing. I think everything happens for a reason and as it should. You learn from everything. Nothing lasts forever and life is fluid. Each experience is a brick in your minds temple. I take the good, the bad and the ugly and I run with it!

That’s a good mindset to have for 2020 in general. I appreciate you agreeing to this interview.

Thank you so much for your time. Be good to each other. We are all humankind, but we are not always kind humans. One Love.

I am very happy that Hori Miso is moving up, and I believe he deserves it after all of his hard work. I wish Hori Miso the best, and I hope to return to Chicago to help him out again.


Wheatpaste by Hori Miso near Maxwell


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