“Art is a demon,” “Making art is always struggling.” Ushio and Noriko Shinohara’s parallel statements speak to the unremitting and beautiful nature of a life devoted to Wrestling the Demon of art.
The pair possess an unbridled creativity, both vital and unrelenting, yet distinct in its manifestations. Noriko and Ushio embraced New York City’s art world at a time when artists such as Yayoi Kusama and the Gutai Group were asserting a Japanese voice in the thriving art scene of the United States.
In 2013, Zach Heinzerling’s film Cutie and the Boxer explored the intersecting vibrancy and struggle of these two veterans of the New York City art scene. The film won the Documentary Directing Award at Sundance Film Festival in 2013, an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary in 2014, followed by an Emmy for Best Documentary in 2016.