Today’s news:

Astoria’s Mieko Anekawa gives new meaning to the expression “heady” art.

The Japanese−born Anekawa is currently displaying her “Hair Show” and animal artwork at Fatty’s Cafe on Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria through February. The show, which debuted at the popular eatery in mid−December, features seven oil paintings revolving around Japanese women’s hair, as well as 10 to 12 acrylic or oil on canvas animal paintings.

She said the neighborhood, in which she has lived for the past four years, is an ideal place to display the pieces.

“People are very interested in art around here,” she said. “I think Astoria is the next place in the city for art. Businesses are pretty approachable. You can often just knock on their door and ask if you can put up your work on their walls.”

Anekawa’s “Hair Show” depicts surrealistic portraits of women, all of whom have parts of nature acting as their hair. In one painting, a women’s hair is a plum tree, while clouds, ocean waves with a surfer in them, birds and orchids stand in for hair in other pieces.

“I think a woman’s hair is a symbol for her life,” she said. “In Japanese culture, women often have wild or cool hairstyles. Sometimes it’s long. Sometimes it’s short. And sometimes it’s in dreadlocks or different colors.”

The paintings’ backdrops are often nondescript, while the women and their hairstyles are filled with swirling colors.

Anekawa, who attended art school in Kyoto, said her work was also displayed at Astoria’s Freeze Peach Cafe this fall and that she would also have a show in Tribeca next year.

Her animal paintings include pelicans, rams, orangutans, baboons, giraffes and zebras. Those paintings, also hanging on the walls at Fatty’s, sell for $100, but the hair paintings are currently not for sale, Anekawa said.

She said she is currently working on a series of nude paintings and that a future series might combine hair and animal themes. Anekawa, who also does Web site and graphic design, said she is currently putting together a 2009 exhibition of her work in Japan.

Fatty’s Cafe is located at 25−01 Ditmars Blvd. in Astoria. Anekawa’s work can be viewed on her Web site at

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e−mail at or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 156.

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