Naoto Hattori, Artist
Naoto Hattori is originally from Japan but has lived, studied and worked in New York for several years now. He went from graffiti tagging under bridges to creating company ads.
Hattori often gets hired for CD cover designs which suits him fine since he's a music fan and feels at home in the scene. You can also catch a glimpse of his art (perhaps only a fleeting glimpse) on snowboards and skateboards (keeping close to his graffiti-roots?).
What I like about him as an artist is that one picture can be soft, welcoming, almost disarming despite the gruesome undertones. The next can be completely in your face, pushing you back in your chair.
Hattori paints whatever fancies him; whatever pops into his head. You might say it reveals a darker side to him, but the man makes a good point about the public and his art:
It might look weird to some people but who knows what is going around in their heads? Maybe if some of them would bring it to paper we would be really shocked? For me it is fun, I can use my full-imagination to create my very own creatures. Also I like to paint the things we can't see. Feelings, emotions, atmosphere. So I really don't use any references for my work. I simply sketch a lot until I find the one I want to take the time to study and paint.
Speaking of his art, you should go to his website and checkout his gallery. I have my eye on the print of the picture above, but if that's not your style, I am sure you'll find something more to taste.