The Art of Shusei Nagaoka

People Culture


Remember orchestral disco music? Remember prog rock? Well, if not, let me clue you up. Both of these much-maligned forms was characterised by the wearing of outrageous costumes, the rocking of over-long solos and excessive hairdos. That, and a strange aesthetic affinity with Science Fiction.

Think Russell Brand crossed with Bill Bailey, and you’re getting close.

Acts who made it big in seventies, like Earth Wind and Fire, Deep Purple, The Sylvers and ELO all bought heavily into this look and feel.

And one of the chief arbiters of the look was Japanese artist Shusei Nagaoka.


It comes as no surprise then, that the great man’s delectably colourful airbrush work was utilised by the Japanese car industry.

I stumbled upon these ads for the Mitsubishi penned by Nagaoki: they formed part of the campaigns that promoted the Starion and the Cordia to be exact. Wether the relativel conservative design of each of the cars justified such outrageously colourful backdrops or not, we’ll leave up to you.


Either way, you’ve got to respect a man that can reimagine such a workaday design into the future, deep in space.

Thanks to Pink Tentacle for the scout.