New ukiyo-e print from KISS delivers awesome, traditional(ish) art

These ukiyo-e prints will appeal to more than just fans of the band!

/ Rocket New 24

Have you ever woken up in the morning, looked at your wall and thought, “You know, I bet that wall would look a whole heck of a lot better with an ukiyo-e style print from hard rock band KISS?” We imagine not, since most people don’t equate KISS with Japanese art, but once you see one of these prints, you may very well have an odd urge to buy one.

As for the contents of the print, the cursive script at the top is apparently a translation of KISS’s song “Rock and Roll All Nite,” and the man gazing at himself in the mirror is bassist Paul Stanley. If you’re wondering where the other band members are, take a look at Paul’s jacket, where you can find Gene Simmons, Eric Singer, and Tommy Thayer.

This is actually the fourth ukiyo-e print to feature the band, but it probably won’t be an impulse purchase for most of us — the print pictured above is available on the KISS Army Japan Store for 108,000 yen (about US$965). And if you’d like a version signed by the band members, it’ll more than double the cost, setting you back 237,600 yen (around $2,123).

Now, to be fair, each print is hand-made individually, so you’re getting an authentic piece of ukiyo-e art made by real ukiyo-e artists using traditional techniques. And only 200 prints (100 signed, 100 unsigned) will be made, so these will be rare, unique items.

All of the prints were made in conjunction with Ukiyo-E Project, an organization that seeks to preserve and revive ukiyo-e while bringing it to the global stage. Their main method for achieving this goal seems to be setting up collaborations between “pop icons of today” and traditional artists, which is actually a pretty cool idea. We also wonder if that means we’ll get to see a version of The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife featuring Lady Gaga some day…

The Ukiyo-e Project has also shared a video of woodcarver Yusuke Sekioka crafting one of the woodblocks. Sekioka works with a sort of quiet beauty that seems totally at odds with the images eventually produced!

If you’re interested in ordering a print and you’re in Japan, you can head over to the KISS Army Store Japan and do just that! If you’re outside Japan, you’ll want to use the Ukiyo-e Project website to order, though it looks like it might cost you a bit more, when you consider the exchange rate.


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