Hirotoshi Ito: The Meat Inside the Stones

Photo by TruShu on Flickr: “With smiles like that they must be … stoned. Bada-bum!

Aww, look at those toofs. I kinda wish these three guys would start bobbing up and down and singing me a happy tune. I wish I could have these three on my bedside, ready to talk when I really need some guidance. They look like they’d give really, really good advice, don’t they? These were crafted by 51-year-old Hirotoshi Ito. Here’s an excerpt from Mr. Ito’s bio at the the Keiko Gallery site:

After graduating from the distinguished Tokyo National University of Fine Arts, Mr. Ito was destined to take over his father’s masonry business in his hometown of Matsumoto City in Nagano Prefecture. He works out of his studio at home, creating his sculptures, while attending his family business.

Hirotoshi Ito continues to find new and original ways to create sculptures that people would touch and feel the unexpected softness and the warmth of them. He would be honored if his work would add laughs and smiles to people who come in contact with them.

What I love about these sculptures is the idea of a secret life. Since I was old enough to understand adventure stories (shout-out to Mio, my Mio), I was enchanted with the idea that the right string of words could make a door appear when there wasn’t one before, that every object (the more mundane, the better) had an alternate purpose, revealed only to those who could see the world in a different way. It’s rare to find something on the net that reaches me on such a tactile level, but I can almost smell the roasted coffee beans, mixed in with the scent of cold moss and stones. It makes me wish, as I believed with all my heart was possible as a child, that my hands could know the secret to unlocking any object they touched.

19 Responses to “Hirotoshi Ito: The Meat Inside the Stones”

  1. BlueAnchorNatasha Says:

    Creative/Scary as fuck.

  2. Mer Says:

    Waaaaugh!!! So cute! Me wantses!

  3. Tequila Says:

    Dude…those…ROCK! :D

    Hey I had to get in on the pun action too. What’s so great about them is how natural they look, like they should actually exist. A shame most rocks are just…well..rock or in some cases fancy lil geodes.

    The Pet Rock fad really must have made an impression Mr. Ito though. The craftsmanship is amazing.

    side note: Best ROCK or STONED pun gets a drink on me next time you are in the LA area.

  4. LooknFeel Says:

    A delicious frisson of cognitive dissonance with an aftertaste of cuteness washes through me like spiritual metamucil. Now my day can begin. Again.

  5. Tanya Says:

    Very neat! I like the humor. In the wrong hands, this idea would go from elegant and thoughtful to simply grotesque. Thanks, Nadya!

    Also, <3 “Mio Moy Mio!” Did you ever end up watching the American/Russian co-produced film starting a very young Christian Bale??

  6. rickie Says:

    “I was enchanted with the idea that the right string of words could make a door appear when there wasn’t one before, that every object (the more mundane, the better) had an alternate purpose, revealed only to those who could see the world in a different way.”

    that was so beautifully worded, and exactly how i feel!! you are teh awesome, nadya! thanks for posting this wonderful, magical info :)

  7. Ruby Says:

    they are amazing, and i was just thinking as i got to the later writing…they are like portals…just little openings into that second world you always feel is there…looking at them was distinctly like waking up…

  8. Pandrio Androtti Says:

    These are along the same lines as Sabina’s paintings in THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING, even more entertaining as sculptures. Ever since reading that book by Kundera, I’ve wondered what exactly he had in mind when he wrote about the art of (paraphrase) one world being broken open to show another. Amazing how fitting this is to that book.

  9. Brock McCoy Says:

    They don’t sing lullabies, they sing ROCKSTEADY!

  10. Allie Says:

    Nadya, this is such a beautiful post, writingwise– and I’m totally speechless about the sculpture. The smiling rocks made me very happy, in that moment-of-unexpected-magic kind of way. Then, when I followed the links, his clothing sculptures totally blew my mind. Mr. Hirotoshi is my new favorite artist.
    And thanks to all you ladies for bringing us these pieces of wonder (like the subway swing!)– it’s so rejuvenating to know that folks are cultivating the sense of play among the mundane. Reading Coilhouse is like having recess!

  11. BlueAnchorNatasha Says:

    I agree with Allie about the recess bit though. Zoe’s article about nifty LA dives opened up my eyes to LA’s possibilities. I guess its different for people who dont live there. We get disoriented more easily..

  12. Keiko Says:

    Hello, I am Keiko and the owner of KEIKO Gallery in Boston. Thank you for your interest in Ito’s work.
    Do you know the art fair SOFA?
    We always show Ito’s work at SOFA New York and they are very popular among the collectors. It will be held at Park Armory from April 16 to 19 this year.

  13. Amelia Arsenic Says:

    I love these! They are appealing and unnerving at the same time… I want one.

    They remind me of those terra toma carcinoma tumors. They can grow inside people and they sometimes have hair and teeth!

  14. timtam Says:

    looks like behelits from Berserk.

    See http://images.google.com/images?q=behelit

  15. Beth Says:


  16. Paul Komoda Says:

    Amelia Arsenic….You can scarcely imagine the level in which you traumatized Nadya with your description of the Teratoma Tumors. I was there when she read it!

  17. Nadya Says:

    @ Tanya:

    WHOA! That film was American/Russian co-produced? HOW?? I mean, of course I remember it. I loved that film. There’s only one scene I remember and that’s when that guy turned to stone and crumbled, but that scene really stuck with me. Is that the movie you’re talking about? That’s the one I saw in Russia. That means that Christian Bale is officially the first Western actor I’ve ever seen.

  18. Gretta Says:

    I love these, definitely full of life! And it makes me think of those old old Sesame Street or Pinwheel shows, those little inbetween stop motion tidbits.

  19. Victoria Stitch Says:

    These r SO COOL! they don’t bite do they?