The 2013 Montreux Jazz Festival official poster

It was one of those amazing encounters that give rise to collaborative projects as surprising as they are fabulous. The kind of encounter that Claude adored. At a night of music during the Montreux Jazz Festival in Kawasaki, Japan last November, Claude Nobs and Mathieu Jaton, along with their friend, the musician Seigen Ono, were discussing the Festival and the poster for 2013. Seigen Ono immediately suggested his friend, the artist Oscar Oiwa, for a lively and colorful poster in the naïve style. Touched by this international artist’s work, Claude and Mathieu quickly confirmed this project by an SMS to Oscar Oiwa, who at that moment was at his home in New York. Sadly, Claude never saw the completed work. But one thing is certain: in this painted jam, he would have pulled out his harmonica to join right in!

Oscar Oiwa was born in 1965 in São Paulo. After receiving a B.A. in Architecture and Urbanism at São Paulo University in 1989, he moved to Tokyo, Japan. While living and working there, his art was featured in numerous exhibitions. His home and studio have been in New York City since 2002.

Among his awards are an artist residency at The Delfina Studio Trust, London, in 1995, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant in 1996, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 2001 and an Asian Cultural Council Fellowship in 2001. His works has been shown widely throughout the United States, South America, Asia, and Europe. In 2008 he had a solo exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. He is going to have a solo exhibition in MASP-Museu de Arte de São Paulo in 2014. The exhibition will be traveling to several cities in Brazil.

His works are in the permanent collections of The National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Arizona State University Art Museum, Phoenix Museum of Art, among others.For up coming exhibitions see : www.oscaroiwastudio.com

"It was a great honor for me to create the poster for the Montreux Jazz Festival 2013. My idea was to have musicians of different ages and cultural backgrounds play together in a summer sunset. The abstract landscape represents a mountain with vineyards and a lake. Light is shown coming from all directions, despite the shadows in the center. The characters are depicted in a style that comes from an area in Northeast Brazil (my home country) named Caruaru, where local people make small figurines using clay.

Thanks to my long time friend Seigen Ono for his collaboration and special thanks to Claude Nobs for his invitation. Unfortunately the visionary man never saw the finished painting and I never met him, but I believe his soul is well represented in this poster."

Oscar Oiwa

Visit the 2012 Montreux Jazz Festival website: www.montreuxjazzfestival.com