Takashi Murakami

Takashi Murakami

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Biography

“I am looking for the crossing point between fine art and entertainment.”

Takashi Murakami

Takashi Murakami created his own art movement, called Superflat. Commenting on post-war Japanese society, in which differences in social class and popular taste have ‘flattened’, the concept repackages what is considered ‘low’ art and presents it as ‘high’ art.

Takashi Murakami is one of the most acclaimed artists to emerge from post-war Asia, challenging of the distinction between commercialism and fine art. Blurring the line between fine art and popular Japanese culture, he is often likened to Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons.

Born in Tokyo in 1962, Takashi Murakami was exposed to a number of Western influences at any early age. Inspired by the Japanese comic-book style Manga, he dreamed of becoming an animation artist and entered the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, where he studied Nihonga, a Japanese art form fusing Japanese subject matter with European painting techniques. He became disillusioned with the style, however, feeling that it was no longer relevant in modern Japanese society and instead began to experiment with his own style, looking to Japan’s ‘low’ culture, especially Anime and Manga, and the subculture of Otaku, from which he takes particular inspiration and eventually developing a new style of Pop art: Neo Pop.

Takashi Murakami is one of the most acclaimed artists to emerge from post-war Asia, challenging of the distinction between commercialism and fine art. Blurring the line between fine art and popular Japanese culture, he is often likened to Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons.

Born in Tokyo in 1962, Takashi Murakami was exposed to a number of Western influences at any early age. Inspired by the Japanese comic-book style Manga, he dreamed of becoming an animation artist and entered the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, where he studied Nihonga, a Japanese art form fusing Japanese subject matter with European painting techniques. He became disillusioned with the style, however, feeling that it was no longer relevant in modern Japanese society and instead began to experiment with his own style, looking to Japan’s ‘low’ culture, especially Anime and Manga, and the subculture of Otaku, from which he takes particular inspiration and eventually developing a new style of Pop art: Neo Pop.

Takashi Murakami created his own art movement, called Superflat. Commenting on post-war Japanese society, in which differences in social class and popular taste have ‘flattened’, the concept repackages what is considered ‘low’ art and presents it as ‘high’ art.  Its bright and easy aesthetic was an immediate success, attracting a wide audience and inspiring an entire generation of contemporary Japanese artists.

Takashi Murakami has been compared to Warhol for his or his commercial production techniques and approach to art as a business, with a large number of assistants helping to produce his designs, some of which can take up to two years to complete.

He has also collaborated with fashion brands such as Issey Mikaye, Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs, and in 2007 provided the cover artwork for Kanye West’s album ‘Graduation’ as well as directing an animated music video for “Good Morning”. Murakami later re-appropriated some of the imagery from these projects into his paintings and sculptures, challenging the distinction between art and commercial branding.  

Takashi Murakami has enjoyed an astronomical rise to fame in the contemporary art world. In 2009 he was the only visual artist to be included in Time magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential People’ and his works often sell for millions of dollars.

He has had solo exhibitions at the Serpentine Gallery and Gagosian Gallery in London; the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York; the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2010, he also became the first Japanese artist to exhibit at the Palace of Versailles.

Takashi Murakami lives and works in Tokyo.

Takashi Murakami
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