06.15.2012 - 08.25.2012
Billy Tokyo is John Dempsey. John Dempsey is Billy Tokyo. But you can call him Jack.
Billy Tokyo is the alias John Dempsey created in 2008 when commissioned to create illustrations for the Chicago Cubs. Concerned with pigeonholing himself in the world of commercial art, Dempsey created his alter ego to make artwork for festivals like Lollapalooza and South X SouthWest. Heavily influenced by Japanese Pop Art and the Chicago Imagists, Tokyo’s work is bright and complex. Embracing a psychedelic rainbow palette, Tokyo packs every inch of space with commentary on contemporary culture and skewers stereotypes with ample wit and humor.
John Dempsey’s paintings are equal parts graffiti and illustrative patterns that create vibrant and approachable landscapes. Using the landscape around him as inspiration, Dempsey abstracts landmarks into splatters, curves and outlines that reflect the artist’s inner feelings about urban locations.