Billy Tokyo is the alter ego of artist John Dempsey, who created the alias in 2008 while on commission to do illustrations for the Chicago Cubs. Tokyo’s Japanese pop art influenced works are psychedelic, calibrated for visual overload. He also creates art as Dempsey. Elmhurst Art Museum is exhibiting works by both this artist’s identities. (Above: Tokyo’s Girl with the Golden Lips, oil paint, gold leaf, spray paint on linen, & embellished paper on wood)
-A Dempsey work: the prize-winning Great American Landscape
Concerned with being pigeonholed in the world of commercial art, Dempsey created Tokyo to make artwork for festivals like Lollapalooza and SXSW. “Commentary on contemporary culture and capitalism abound in my artwork, in which I attempt to skewer stereotypes with ample wit and humor,” he says.
-Dempsey’s Over the Underpass
Dempsey earned his BFA from Ohio University. He has worked as a designer and artist for numerous clients and television shows and now is a full-time artist. Dempsey’s “The Great American Landscape” won first place in Chicago’s 2010 Art Loop Open. John Dempsey’s website, here. Billy Tokyo’s website, here.