Takashi Murakami is a funny and brave artist. He’s funny because his colourful subjects, based on Manga characters, and his paintings, adorned by thousands of flowers, really succeed in making the public smile.
He is brave because he is one of the rare artists who has dared to cross the line between eastern and western art, creating a new Pop movement that he named Superflat.
Inspired by Edo-period painter, Suplerflat movement destroys any fences between big and small art, with paintings where drawing in perspective is replaced with flat composition.
Superflat is also a deep journey in Japanese culture from the World War II to our times, which brough up complex issues such as consumerism, fetishism and manga characters’ fear of growing.
Takashi Murakami sees the artist as the one who “wants to see the newest things. That is because we want to see the future, even if only momentarily. It is the moment in which, even if we don’t completely understand what we have glimpsed, we are nonetheless touched by it. This is what we have come to call art”.
His creations, paintings, sculptures, movies as well as hoodies and fashion accessories, combine traditional Japanese art – like the hand-drawn flowers, whose repetitive making process reminds of zen healing rites or the sparkling colours inspired by sumptuous Silk Road fabrics – with Pop Art style and attitude.
For the artist, born in Tokyo to a taxi driver and a housewife, with an extra cash drawing job, coming to USA in the early 90’s was ground-breaking.
After a former traditional Japanese art-based education - Nihon-ga (painting) Degree at Tokyo National and Fine Arts and Music University- discovering Pop Art was a kind of epiphany. In 1996 he established the Hiropon Factory, a studio/workshop where he creates his art with the help of a large team of assistants.
Behind every Takashi Murakami’s artwork there are lots of mathematic preparation studies. Such richness – it’s really hard to find equally detailed artworks – is the result of a creative production line where the elements hand- drawn by the artist are scanned onto computers where assistants play with size, position and colours. Sonic the Hedgehog- they reach the public in all their powerful creativity and spontaneity.
Despite the mathematical making-process his art, whether it’s a painting carpeted by flowers or a Mr. Dob sculpture – Murakami’s iconic character resembling both Doraemon and videogame’s hero Sonic the Hedgehog-, impresses the public with its powerful creativity and spontaneity.
Fashion world is crazy for Murakami. He redesigned Louis Vuitton Logo, he had collaborations with Issey Miyak, Kyane West and Nissan.
In 2010 Versailles luxurious halls were invaded by his works in an unforgettable exhibition that shocked many traditionalist French.
After 2011 Fukushima’s earthquake and Tsunami, he brought into art the impact of natural disasters on Japanese art and culture, portraying a series of Arhat - Buddhist protecting Monks – facing death and disruption on surrealist backgrounds. It was s way to reconnect with his native culture and finding out the perfect balance between eastern and western cultures.
Exhibited in worldwide museums and galleries, the artist appeared at Venice Biennale, San Francisco Modern Art Museum, Moma Ps1, Bilbao’s Guggenheim, Paris Cartier Foundation, Tokyo Modern Art Museum and Boston Fine Art Museum.
Considered as the Japanese Andy Warhol, this amazing artist is definitely one to be collected. It goes without saying that his values are getting higher and higher day by day. .