Cutie and The Boxer, Two Flowers in One Pot
“You’ve got to be positive. Life is wonderful. Life should be positive. When it’s blown into pieces, that’s when it becomes art. Art is messy and dirty when it pours out of you.” - Ushio Shinohara
If your looking for a new movie to watch, we definitely have to recommend Zachary Heinzerling's documentary Cutie and The Boxer. Released on August 16th in 2013, Cutie and The Boxer follows two married Japanese artists Ushio Shinohara and Noriko Shinohara who live in Brooklyn, New York. While Cutie and The Boxer is a story of love, it is also a story of growth and the financial challenges many artists face in choosing art as a career.
"I believe in my career. God damn it! I want to cry I’ve got nothing. This is so hard and it’s so fantastic. Now I’ve got nothing. You see.. We’re the ones suffering the most from art”
- Ushio Shinohara
“Art is a demon, a demon that drags along. It’s not something you can stop, even if you should. Maybe you go insane, maybe your wife leaves you or your kid runs away. You throw yourself away to be an artist.” – Ushio Shinohara
Ushio and Noriko met when Noriko, an aspiring artist, moved from Japan to NYC to study art. At the time Ushio was known for his action paintings and abstract sculptures. Wandering into a gallery one night, where Ushio's work happened to be on display, Noriko fell in love with his sculptures. Noticing her Ushio took Noriko under his wing making her his assistant, until they quickly fell in love, married and had a son. After finding out what was going on Noriko's parents stopped sending her money from Japan. For the first time in her life, she was experiencing what it meant to be a struggling artist. Without the support of her parents, Noriko put her career on hold to raise their son and support Ushio. During their marriage Ushio struggled with alcoholism and his own artistic career. Fast forward to 2013, Noriko has "tamed" Ushio and with her son grown up, she decides finally to focus on her own career.
“We are like two flowers in one pot. It’s difficult. Sometimes we don’t get enough nutrients for both of us. But when everything goes well, we become two beautiful flowers. So it’s either heaven or hell.” – Noriko Shinohara