Summer solo

March 16, 2014

My show at Gr2 in Los Angeles last September.  All work by Ako Castuera, all photos by Joyce Kim magicBodiesSign







Now that I’m in between shows I’ll be working on a new website with more photos of sculptures from this show and other recent stuff.
Thanks to Eric Nakamura and the Giant Robot family, Rob Sato, Junzo Mori & Xiem clay center, This Repair Shop, and everybody who came, collected or otherwise supported me!


Space 1026 in Philadelphia

October 4, 2012

Tomorrow will see the opening of the three person show Ako Ryohei Rob New Work and Then Some at Philadelphia’s Space 1026. The show was curated by our friend the marvelous Kris Chau, who orchestrated this complicated operation from/between at least 3 time zones while she worked and moved across the country. Ryohei Tanaka came all the way from Tokyo with his mom and sister to join up with Rob and I. The 3 of us have been bffs since the end of the 20th century when we met in Oakland, which is where we also met Kris. So this show is a love fest that celebrates friendship that has spanned across oceans and years and is part of the foundation of our creative lives. Rob will be showing recent watercolor and graphite works, Ryohei will be dazzling all with his cut out paper art, and I’ll present fresh from the kiln ceramic sculptures with a smattering of painted stuff.
We started installation last night at Space 1026 where we were lucky to meet some really nice people, including Richy who is helping us with EVERY THING including chocolate covered edamame, and Sean, who wrote an article in the Philly weekly and showed up to hang out and take some photos (which can be seen HERE. Here are a couple shots he took.

Porcelain Pegasus with cargo (according to legend Pegasus carries Zeus’ lightning bolts, but these are just beads)

We don’t know a lot of people in Philly, but we have been supported by an extended friendship web that starts with Kris Chau and spins outward in a magic penny spiral that is very heartwarming to experience. Many thanks to her and her family of friends and Space 1026. I hope we’ll see you at the opening on Friday!

Surface World

September 27, 2012

I’m slowly expanding my range of surface treatments for ceramics. This is a dizzying world of color and chemistry, with so many variables and opportunities to create beauty and interest it makes me a little crazy.
Above: Sleeping Ginko Vessel and detail.

Below: One Eyed Owl

One Eyed Owl (detail)

Branching Stegosaurus

Milk and Mud Pitcher

These pieces will be on display at Space 1026 in Philadelphia from October 5th through the 26th. >>>LINK<<

Eric Nakamura pulled off another tremendous exhibition. This show made me feel the weird love that fuels Giantrobot and makes it a community rather than just another garish retail nexus. A lot of people worked very hard to get this show up and running, not just the artists but a band of dedicated, power drill wielding art lovers and volunteers. The museum staff at JANM was a delight to work with, and they went beyond their jobs to make this show special. I’m grateful to be featured in this show, it’s been an amazing opportunity that pushed me to work beyond my previous limits.
Another thing I really enjoy about this show is sharing a gallery space with Robert Sato, my dearest friend and partner of many years. As artists the development over the years is significant. I’m glad we stuck to it and to each other (more about that when I post about the next show, a three person with myself, Rob, and our super amigo Ryohei Tanaka).
Anyhow, this show will be up until January 20! The turnout for the opening was great, I’m only sorry that I didn’t do a better job promoting it BEFORE instead of after the opening. I was going nuts with the set up!
Big thanks to everyone who braved the crowd and horrible parking situation to come see the show! It means a lot to me to see you there.
Lastly, here’s a shot of Rob and me in fancy dress. As this event is informally known as the GR prom, we got fancy to the max. It was fun.

(Photo by Amanda Francis Movlai)

A watercolor of the tiniest Finn and Jake.


June 25, 2012

I’m taking a break from storyboarding for the summer, and I’ll be deep in clay and paint and hopefully some textile stuff too. In the meantime, images from the last show will be trickling in through here as I organize them.

This is the one of the first things I made with a mix of the clay I dug up and the clay from the ceramic studio. I was so happy to see him come out of the kiln, the clay had transformed from red porous stuff into this beautiful metallic iron colored body, and I set him up like a mascot on my work table. He remains there to deter the fears that loom in my mind when I’m going into a creative head space.
In the studio

I learned the word “psychopomp” after reading a post on the excellent blog erratic phenomena. A psychopomp is an creature or deity who mediates between conscious and unconscious realms, the literal translation is ‘a guide of souls’.

Waving the Wand

June 2, 2012

Hello! I’ve been consumed by storyboarding on Adventure Time, and long overdue on posting the last body of watercolors and sculptures from They Are Us show.
We start here: A portal was created, and life exploded from it.

The sky opened up and projected a bunch of us to the planet.
ark portal

This guy was put in charge of making more of itself.

Fantastic life forms appeared on Earth

This animal is a photosynthesizer.

Some things were made as curiosities.

Harmonious relationships are formed by many of the inhabitants.

The past never ends.

She is a she.

Ladies of the Blue Order are here to have mystical fun.

Dream homes are created and destroyed.

Every day life is weird.

These are connected to each other and wear colorful shoes.

We make the stars tell us stories.

Life is death, minerals, vegetables, animals, and everything else.

more to come soon.

They Are Us

April 4, 2012

I’m having an art show!



They Are Us – New Work by Ako Castuera

April 7 – May 2, 2012
Opening reception Saturday April 7th 2012, 6:30-10pm

GR2 – 2062 Sawtelle Blvd LA, CA 90025 310 445 9276

It’s my first solo show.  I’m pretty stoked!  

It was in April at Nucleus Gallery in Alhambra. Here are three of the pieces I put in. I gotta look for the Wizard Battle concept sketch too.

The Barker. Watercolor, a tiny one. It’s from a part that got cut out of the episode “Go With Me”.

Title? Another tiny watercolor not from any episode, just for fun. The beast is based on a post it drawing I did to mark my progress/ count clean up pages.

Monumental Friend. Watercolor… Not from any specific episode, just something fun.

April 11, 2011

Yaya! I’m so pleased to be in a show at GR2 with Yellena James and Elsa Mora. Saturday, April 16 (#1 friends Bday) 2011. I’m looking forward to meeting them and seeing amazing work at the opening.


Also, on the same night: Nucleus Gallery will be hosting the opening event for The Adventure Time Exhibit! I’ll have something in there, and I think my co-workers are going to make it a knockout as usual! The only thing not rad about this is that it’s on the same night as the GR opening across town, so I won’t be able to make it.