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The story behind Takashi Murakami’s ‘Flowers’

The story behind Takashi Murakami’s ‘Flowers’

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.

The multicolored Flowers of Takashi Murakami branded its line in fashion, pop culture and contemporary art. This lively character has appeared on an Art-Basel art piece with William Pharrell, Kayne’s Album covers, Drake’s hoodies, and Kid Cudi’s chains. It has also been evident in fashion, such as Louis Vuitton, Ben Baller Jewelry, Supreme, Vans, Uniqlo, and several others. One of the most famous collaborations in the fashion industry was Murakami and Louis Vuitton’s 13-year partnership. He redesigned its iconic logo by printing his signature neon color palette and incorporating his big-eared characters and smiling flowers into its luxury bags.

 This Flower has attracted brands in both streetwear and luxury fashion. Several collaborations continued to thrive after the great ascend. Vans’ collaboration featured Takashi Murakami’s Flower on different limited edition graphic tees and skate decks and the Vans Classic slip-on. Virgil Abloh also screen-printed Murakami’ ‘s Flower and Abloh’s signature script on a leather tote bag. In 2019 the Flowers were featured on shorts and cushions by READYMADE; and in that same year, MoMA collaboration produced Flower plush pillows sold for $150 USD.

The Flower was also remarkably recognized in the music industry, co-signing with big names such as Kanye West, Pharell Williams, and Billie Eilish. Seen as one of the most remarkable masterpieces for Kanye was his 2007 album Graduation and the upcoming animated television show feat. West and Kid Cudi entitled “Kids See Ghosts”. It is also seen on various releases such as Flowers motif with OVO owl, Billie Eilish for Uniqlo, and another music video directed by Murakami entitled “You should See Me in a Crown”. 

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Murakami’s Flowers motif was inspired by his early studies of Nihonga–traditional Japanese-style painting. One of Nihonga subjects is “setsugetsuka,” which translates to snow, moon, and flowers. While his Flowers appear capricious and sweet, the very meaning behind Murakami’s smiling floral figures is more foreboding. The article of NYTimes.com Murakami explained that these Flowers elicits repressed emotions and collective trauma of Japanese locals triggered by the 1945 bombings. The Flower is just one of his many popular works! 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 

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