After having the pleasure of seeing Pesu also know as Yushi Naito, in action you will never look at art the same. He is an outstanding performance artist that creates original design at a moments notice.
The tale of Yushi Naito is very much like the story of the miracle of Hip Hop. Through the bits and pieces of what was possible, of what nobody else could see, a style that captivated everyone who experienced it grew from both need and imagination.
For everyone who has ever heard KRS-ONE say “Hip Hop is something you live,” they will understand the tattoo on Yushi‘s arm stating simply “Life is Art” For those of you who have been following him since his days as a graffiti artist in Sakuragi-cho, Yokohama city Japan, to his days as one of the top art battlers in New York City, the evolution from a graph writer to a professional artist is one of destiny.
The name PESU draws its origins from his childhood, when Yushi was in a car accident and spent much time in the hospital thinking he would go blind. Perhaps the threat of blindness from the real world allowed him to see the surreal styles that he would soon be bringing to walls and canvasses all over the world.
To give himself the superhero felling his art would soon reflect, he dubbed himself ESU, which loosely translated in Japanese is the letter “S”. Superman was about to swoop into reality. While coloring the rigid landscape of Japanese art, ESU kept falling outside the lines, and decided to take the current of his paints overseas to California, where his perception of the universe shifted and his world of art expanded.
Once there he met a his future business partner, Yaz Higashiya, a fellow countryman who was following the same path of Russell Simons before him – To create a brand that artists could gather under and bring their new styles to the world. In 2010, Yaz Higashiya & PESU established a company, Old-Soulz Ent Inc, which is art collective and production company.
Old-Soulz is a professional business that sold ESU’s paintings and started attracting other artists and creating a scene and seeks to fuse the energy harnessed in nature and combine it with the creative spirit of the artist to bring about a peaceful environment to exist in.
With the business model now in place, ESU added a “P” to the front of his name as he was now making his living as a professional artist. Though the west coast brought some success, the Old-Soulz knew that there was only one place that held the combination of surreal art and Hip Hop Music: New York City.
Home of the Art Battle, where painters paint against each other in the style of an old breakdance battle, Pesu not only competed and won many of the competitions, but after each battle, he started to receive offers to buy the paintings he had just completed. As the art form started to gain recognition, he began opening for acts such Slick Rick, Aloe Blacc, Pete Rock, Camp Lo, Bobbito, DJ Spinna,Tony Touch, Rich Medina, CL Smooth and so on.
In 2006, PESU was elected as an artist for Evisu international, and participated in the Sun Dance Festival as an artist where he painted customized pieces for celebrities. In addition to being named one of the 12 best live paint battlers by MTV for their “Art Battles” shows, he painted at live showrooms and done custom paintings for Evisu such as ProjectNY, Dirty Dozen +1 and countless other events on the New Yorkart world. In 2009, PESU was commissioned to do custom artwork for COACH during New York’s Fashion’s Night Out. Now a worldwide brand, PESU is showing in Galleries all over New York Cityand establishing himself as one of the top live painter in the world. His brush strokes engulf the eyes of everyone who cannot help but stop and immerse themselves in a new known seen by those who are looking for an alternative to modern reality.
Pesu’s hope is that this alternative can become the Norm. With the way, he is going, it will only be a matter of time before he is a household name. For more information on Pesu, check him out on his website: Pesu, Facebook, Twitter, Old Soulz, and Art Battle.