Noriko Shinohara

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Noriko Shinohara
Born1953 (age 64–65)
Takaoka, Japan
ResidenceBrooklyn, New York
Other namesCutie
Known forPainting, Drawing, Comics
Spouse(s)Ushio Shinohara

Noriko Shinohara (born 1953 in Takaoka, Japan)[1] is a Japanese-American multi-disciplinary fine artist based in Brooklyn, New York. She is known for her semi-autobiographical drawing and printmaking series "Cutie & Bullie". She has had several international gallery and museum exhibitions including in Tokyo, New York City, Dallas, Kraków, Ottawa and more.[2][3]

Shinohara and her husband, Ushio, are the subjects of a documentary film by Zachary Heinzerling called Cutie and the Boxer (2013).[4][5]


Shinohara moved to New York City at the age of 19, in the early 1970s, in order to study art at the Art Students League of New York.[6][7] A few months after arriving to the city, she met the artist Ushio who was 21 years her senior.[8] Within the next couple years they were married and together they had a son born in 1974, Alexander Kūkai Shinohara.[6][8] Their tumultuous life together as a family was subject to the Zachary Heinzerling directed, 2013 documentary, Cutie and the Boxer.[1][9]

The nickname "Cutie" started in 2002 at the age of 49, when Shinohara was wearing her hair in two braids and a young man on the street called out to her, "hey cutie".[10] The nickname stuck after that event.[10]

She started creating the drawing series after complaining about her husband to a friend, who quipped back at her, that she should "punish him" as a dominatrix would do.[10] Finding this idea amusing, in 2003-2004 she started drawing images of Cutie punishing Bullie and sending them to her friend that had made the joke.[10] Initially only Cutie was named in the drawings and it was formatted as six-frame comics, but by 2007 she named Bullie, and slowly it became a story about both Cutie and Bullie.[10]

In 1986, she held her first solo exhibition at Cat's Club in New York City.[3] In 2016, she held her first solo exhibition in a museum at Carlton University Art Gallery in Ottawa, Canada,[3]


  1. ^ a b "Shinohara Ushio and Noriko: A Couple Wrestles with the Demon Called Art". 2014-03-02. Retrieved 2018-07-14.
  2. ^ "Shinohara, Noriko". Retrieved 2018-07-16.
  3. ^ a b c Batko, Ania (2006-09-09). "Ushio Shinohara. Don't Bother My Freedom!". Going. (in Polish). Retrieved 2018-07-16.
  4. ^ Shoji, Kaori (2013-12-19). "Japanese couple's canvas alive with the art of love". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2018-07-14.
  5. ^ Scott, A. O. (2013-08-15). "'Cutie and the Boxer,' About Ushio and Noriko Shinohara". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-07-16.
  6. ^ a b Cassavia, Cayllan. "Noriko Shinohara". Retrieved 2018-07-14.
  7. ^ Pavia, Will (2015-09-12). "The first couple of pop art". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2018-07-16.
  8. ^ a b Kilgannon, Corey (2013-07-26). "The Art of War". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-07-16.
  9. ^ "Couples Who Art Each Other". Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Retrieved 2018-07-16.
  10. ^ a b c d e Carmichael, Emma (2013-08-19). "Interview with Cutie and The Boxer's Noriko Shinohara". The Hairpin. Retrieved 2018-07-16. Punish him! Wear like a dominatrix and punish him with 16 inches of dildo.