Happy Birthday Takashi Murakami

A little intro...

Takashi Murakami (born Feb 1st, 1962, Tokyo Japan) is an artist unique in his ability to adapt the ascetics of traditional Japanese art to in the context of popular culture.

A classically trained painter; he saw how the flat style of traditional Japanese art influenced anime and manga as well as the larger subculture of otaku in general. His flat and bold work followed in the path laid by centuries of Japanese artists. Takashi, however, bridged the gap between Japanese tradition and subculture. He originated the artistic movement called Superflat. Superflat describes not only the art style of flat, bold, colorful imagery, but also the shallowness Murakami saw in post-war Japanese culture .

About his Art...

Unlike the majority of his contemporaries, Murakami embraces "low brow" art. He blurred the lines between commercial and fine arts; drawing much of his inspiration from Japanese fashion and anime culture. He has work in mediums varying from painting and sculpture to fashion and performance. Murakami is an anomaly in that he is honored with exhibitions in the most well respected art festivals and museums but also works with mainstream fashion designers. He has exhibited in moma, the Guggenheim, and at the Venice Biennale while also designing with Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton.

From Japan to the west... and back again

Murakami was unsatisfied with the Japanese art world of his time. He saw it mainly as appropriations of western art and strove to create something uniquely Japanese. He had a strategy to revive the art market in Japan. He decided the key to success in the east was success in the west. He moved to New York City to grow his career. He brought his distinctly Japanese style (anime type characters and large scale figurines, bright, bold, glossy images) with him. His plan worked and he found great success in the united states.

Rebuilding an art market in Japan...

Murakashi always intended to bring his talents back to the east and reinvigorate the Japanese art market. In 2001 he founded Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd., an artist promotion company. Through this company, which has offices in both Brooklyn and Japan, Murakashi brought exposure to young artist by exhibiting their work, promoting merchandise, and even organizing a biannual art festival in Tokyo.

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