Art Crush of the Week: AIKO

Amanda Brownridge

 Art crushes. Like people crushes but only better. That glorious moment when you're scrolling through your Instagram feed and suddenly you stumble upon an image that stops you in your tracks and you just know that it is the beginning of something beautiful. You can't get enough and you fall down the rabbit hole of hashtags and hyperlinks.

Art Crush of the Week: AIKO

(The Bowery Wall, AIKO. Photo credit:

AIKO’s (aka Lady AIKO) distinctive style, with her playful manga-inspired images and bright colours can be seen all over the world. Having worked for many years as one of three members of FAILE, AIKO has also participated in the Wynwood Walls, the Bowery Wall, and most recently the Dubai Walls. AIKO combines American pop culture with traditional Japanese elements in a way described by the artist as “shouting eloquently” which can be seen in this video.

(The Wynwood Walls, AIKO. Photo credit:

AIKO was part of a selection of 16 artists who participated in the inaugural edition of the Dubai Walls this year, an initiative created to promote street art in the Middle East.

(Dubai Walls, AIKO. Photo credit:

(Dubai Walls, AIKO. Photo credit:

(Dubai Walls, AIKO. Photo credit:

We just received three beautiful prints by AIKO in the gallery and can't wait to share them with you! Each one of these Bunny prints is hand finished, unique, and simply stunning. We are in love.


AIKO was born and raised in Tokyo before moving to New York City in the mid-90′s.

Already creating art since a young age, her art career in NYC began when she started working for Takashi Murakami. She apprenticed in Murakami’s studio in Brooklyn and worked for him until the late 90′s going on to direct a digital biography on the artist (“Superflat” 1998). AIKO continued to practice her own art and after leaving Murakami’s studio graduated from The New School University where she finished her MFA Media Studies and later met up with two American artists, the three of them would come to establish the group now known as FAILE. Creating work within the collective locally and abroad for a number of years, she moved on and established herself as Lady AIKO in 2006.

AIKO continues to create work in the studio as well as public space. She is acclaimed in the contemporary art world and well-respected within the international graffiti and street art scene. She had a two-person show “Brick Ladies” with Lady Pink in Brooklyn in 2008, and she worked with Banksy on “Exit Through the Gift Shop” in 2010. Her large scale works indoors and outdoors are installed in many cities, including Miami’s Wynwood Walls in 2009, New York City’s Bowery Wall in 2013, and Coney Art Walls in 2015, all three curated by Jeffrey Deitch. AIKO has also been involved in a large collection of group shows, from “AnimamixBiennale” at Shanghai’s MoCA in 2009 to “Edo Pop” at Japan Society NYC in 2013, ‘Some Place Like Home” at Rumney Guggenheim Gallery NY in 2015 to her more recent solo show, “Sweet Heart” at The Outsiders Gallery in the UK in 2014.

AIKO has also been commissioned to create works in collaboration with Louis Vuitton, Coach, The Standard, W Hotel, Hello Kitty, Isetan and Warner Bros. etc.

(Artist bio from

Did you read about last week's art crush? Click here to learn more about the work of Alan Ganev!