MORE IS MORE – The CaMpY Takashi Murakami

Hanging out in Milan you can find a lot of things…free! URBAN is one of the most interesting free press and this month its main article is about Takashi Murakami.

Takashi Murakami ( ,born 1 February 1962 in Tokyo, Kantō region), is a prolific contemporary Japanese artist who works in both fine arts media, such as painting, as well as digital and commercial media. He attempts to blur the boundaries between high and low art. He appropriates popular themes from mass media and pop culture, then turns them into thirty-foot sculptures, “Superflat” paintings, or marketable commercial goods such as figurines or phone caddies.

Murakami attended the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, initially studying more traditionalist Japanese art. He pursued a doctorate in Nihonga, a mixture of Western and Eastern styles dating back to the late 19th century. However, due to the mass popularity of anime and manga, Japanese styles of animation and comic graphic stories, Murakami became disillusioned with Nihonga, and became fixated on otaku culture, which he felt was more representative of modern day Japanese life.

Takashi Murakami’s work has been exhibited in prestigious museums all over the world, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and a recent solo retrospective exhibition at the Bard College Museum of Art. Through his work, Murakami has played with these oppositions in East and West, past and present, high art and low culture while remaining consistently amusing and accessible. His work morphs the worlds of popular contemporary Japanese cartoons and historic Japanese painting (he is classically trained, with a Ph.D. in the traditional nihon-ga style). His recurring character, Mr. DOB, appears on t-shirts, posters, key-chains, etc. world-wide and has even come to life in the form of one of these 3-D sculptures. Murakami has also curated “Super Flat” an exhibition of contemporary Japanese artists.

 

 

In 2008, Takashi Murakami made Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list, and was the only visual artist to do so.

Like Andy Warhol, Takashi Murakami takes low culture and repackages it, and sells it to the highest bidder in the “high-art” market. Unlike Warhol, Murakami also makes his repacked low culture available to all other markets in the form of paintings, sculptures, videos, T-shirts, key chains, mouse pads, plush dolls, cell phone caddies, and $5,000 limited-edition Louis Vuitton handbags.

www.takashimurakami.com

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