JUURI’s colorful, figure-driven murals are gateways to another land — somewhere in a timeless universe, somewhere both new and nostalgic, foreign yet familiar.
The Tokyo-born artist pulls inspiration from traditional Japanese stories — history, folklore or Kabuki (a classical form of Japanese dance-drama) — and presents her subjects with a modern fashion photography feel. With an East-meets-West spirit, her art represents Japanese culture with an American twist.
“Japanese culture and history provide endless inspiration for me,” JUURI said. “Since I was raised mostly in the U.S., there’s so much that I don’t know, so I have to research. My art is sometimes almost a visual note or a journal to keep me from forgetting.”
After studying graphic design and spending a few years working in the industry, JUURI shifted her focus to fine art — her true passion — and began marketing her artwork to sell online in 2010. She discovered murals in 2014 through the Western Avenue Association. The mural at NW 44th and Western was her first. Since then, she’s had murals showcased from coast to coast, and in Israel too.
“Since 2014, I’ve almost exclusively focused on murals,” JUURI said. “However since the corona [pandemic], I’ve been enjoying painting in the studio a lot more and exploring other wonderful mediums such as digital design for vinyl murals, NFTs, vinyl toys, LED/neon light art, rugs and fashion items.”
With so many novel ideas and products brewing, JUURI says she loves to collaborate with other creatives. She openly invites communication to explore new opportunities.
“Art is all I think about and all I’ve done my entire life. Therefore, I decided to treasure it and make it the focus of my career and life,” she said, noting that she remembers having art projects in her life as early as age three.
JUURI has a large piece at the Morikami Museum and Gardens near Miami, with a show opening on May 5 and running through September. Original works and prints are sold online at www. juuriart.com/store and on Instagram @juuriartshop.
“The most rewarding thing about be- ing an artist is all the wonderful friends you make along the way who really ‘get it.’ Also, when somebody tells me that a piece affected them deeply or changed the way their day was going, all the hard work is worth it,” she said. “I love hear- ing from people all over the world. It’s incredible!”