Tommy Mishima b. 1980
Tommy Mishima was born in Lima, Peru, where he enjoyed a particular bicultural upbringing amidst the tenets of a stern Catholic society. His mother’s family comes from the city of Chachapoyas (“warriors of the clouds” in Aymara, an indigenous Peruvian language) and which is known for the curious presence of fair skin people that predates the arrival of Spanish colonialism. His father emigrated from Japan to Lima with his entire family when he was still a toddler, as they were looking to restart a new life after the war. Both cultures have had a profound impact in Mishima’s artwork, and have served to give him an understanding of the dynamics of cultural interaction from a very early age.
Upon finishing high school, Mishima moved to the United States to pursue a career in art. His main focus was in the design aspect of art making as most of his recent influences then were tied to the realm of the graphic arts, comic books and illustration. He attended Parsons School of Design, where he earned his BFA in Fine Arts, and it was during these four years that he decided to concentrate his technique and effort exclusively to painting. After college, Mishima worked in the Command Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for six years. Soon after leaving the Met, Mishima attended Rhode Island School of Design, where he received his MFA in Painting.
Mishima has shown in numerous galleries in Providence and New York, including Nancy Margolis Gallery, Projekt 722 and 1st Dibs. He also attended the Vermont Studio Center and is the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner fellowship.