Popularly known for his explosives of neon colors and peculiar anime-inspired characters. His work draws inspiration from the Japanese subculture of otaku–a term used to describe people devoted to all things pop culture. Takashi Murakami has gained a whopping ascent to prominence in the world of contemporary art. In exploring Japan’s contemporary culture and the West’s intruding influence on it, he quoted:
“We want 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.”– Takashi Murakami
Murakami completed his studies at Tokyo University of the Arts with a Ph.D. in Nihonga–traditional Japanese painting. He garnered international attention in the late 1990s with his cartoon-like paintings and sculptures. Interestingly, the events during the second world war urged him to re-create cartoon fantasies and harmless characters to reinvent their culture; thus, these icons began to gain popularity. In 2001, Murakami coined the term “Superflat” launching one of postmodern art’s most invigorated movements. This has become an international phenomenon, infiltrating all consumer culture areas from high to low art. It refers both to the flattened compositions that lacked a one-point perspective of historical Japanese artistic movements such as Nihonga and the flattening (or merging) of art and commerce.
“It has successfully and significantly blurred the lines between fine art and commercial art with work that ranges from traditional painting and sculpture to digital art, graphic design, and film to fashion and product design and development. Because of this, it has revolutionized the appropriation of globalized visual culture toward creating and manufacturing creative forms of art that can be accessed and bought by audiences across all economic spectrums.”– The Art Story
Several collections of his sculptures and paintings were significantly exhibited worldwide, including Tokyo, Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Frankfurt, Qatar, and Paris. One of the most famous collaborations in the fashion industry was Murakami and Louis Vuitton’s 13-year partnership. He redesigned the brand’s iconic logo by printing his signature neon color palette and incorporating his big-eared characters and smiling flowers into its luxury bags. His works were also remarkably recognized in the music industry, where it was featured in several music videos and album covers of Kanye West, Pharell Williams, and Billie Eilish.
One of Murakami’s iconic characters is the smiling flower. A happy face with 12 colorful rounded petals displaying a playful innocence and delight. His flower enchantments began during the 1980s, and over the years, he became more interested in their blooms and personalities. Murakami’s flowers are now his most recognizable motif and have been featured in countless artworks and products.
Takashi Murakami has shown himself a considerable force in the field of fashion, merchandise, and animation; If you want to know more about the infamous Japanese Master of Superflat, check out Homeless Penthouse True Origin series feat. Murakami or you can also visit MCA Chicago’s website for more details about his artworks and exhibits.