Ushio and Noriko Shinohara are the subjects of the Academy Award®-nominated documentary Cutie and the Boxer (dir. Zachary Heinzerling), which premieres on PBS on September 18 at 10 p.m. Eastern as part of the POV documentary series.
The couple, who are both artists, have been living and working in New York City for the last 40 years. Ushio, who has been a prominent Pop artist and action painter in Japan since the 1960s, is best known stateside for punching canvases with paint-soaked boxing gloves and for making motorcycle-shaped assemblages. Noriko, a painter who cites Caravaggio and Classical art as leading influences, has most recently found success with her “Cutie” series—an elegant and humorous narrative painting project that marries Japanese-inflected calligraphy and the contemporary graphic novel.
Art & Antiques recently had the opportunity to visit the couple at their DUMBO home and studio, spending an afternoon discussing the documentary, their work, and their sometimes tumultuous, yet enduring relationship.
By Chris Shields