Takashi Murakami

Takashi Murakami
It’s interesting to note that Japanese artist Takashi Murakami was the only visual artist included on Time magazine’s 2008 “100 Most Influential People” list. Not that I put that much stock in such lists, but it’s a glimpse of the wide ranging notice Murakami is receiving.

Muuakami’s style covers a wide range as well, with influences from traditional Japanese art, which he studied at Tokyo national University of Fine Arts and Music, combined with 20th century Modernist notions and contemporary pop culture streams from manga, anime, and “otaku” culture, in a kind of glorious art mash-up explosion of brightly colored graphic patterns and iconic imagery; as if Peter Max was channeling Utagawa school artists by way of Masamune Shirow in an exhibit put together by Andy Warhol.

Murakami seems to have the ability to slip back and forth at will through cultural layers as well, passing from gallery art to pop culture to outright commercialism, with his name appearing on designer goods along with Louis Vuittom.

There is a major show of his work currently at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain, from now until May 31, 2009.

The show has previously traveled to MOCA in California, which has videos of the exhibit and interviews the the artist; and The Brooklyn Museum in NY.

Murakami doesn’t have a web site per se as an artist, but rather an art production company, Kaikai, Kiki (roughly meaning “oddly fascinating”), devoted to art related merchandise, animation and art promotion, of which his art is a part.

[Via Art Knowledge News]

9 Replies to “Takashi Murakami”

  1. See “Seven Days in the Art World” by Thornton for a complete essay on him with visit to his studios with other curators from his gallery and MOCA for a complete and fascinating portrait.

  2. Most of us live in our own Taste Bubbles and Gosh darn it this chap was not in the soup mix. Thanks for pointing out this artist. I wonder why he has’nt influenced me? Don’t answer that. ;v)

  3. Murakami is a slave driver and a hack. He doesn’t touch his canvases, which wouldn’t be so bad if the works had anything to say.

    He sends illustrator files to a studio in Queens, where an army of near-minimum wage starving japanese sweat shop workers spend 15 hours a day painting in the colors by number.

    He makes walt disney look like a saint, and andy warhol painterly.

    total capitalization on the ‘japan chic’ concept, and the west eats up whatever he regurgitates.

  4. I have a bit of a problem with his pornorific portrayal of women. I understand the manga references but I still see them as demeaning to women.

    1. I understand. I try not to limit myself in appreciating some of an artist’s work even if I don’t like other aspects. (Many concept artists, for example, leave me cold in their preoccupation with violence, but I still enjoy the artistic expression of the images, even if I dislike the subject.)

  5. Good point, I know that I try hard to get past the distasteful things that some musicians and actors/actresses do when I appreciate their work.

  6. I have a bit of a problem with his pornorific portrayal of women. I understand the manga references but I still see them as demeaning to women.

    1. I don’t always like his choice of imagery, and I don’t know enough about him to know the actual intention behind it; but I do find his visual approach worth noting.

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