Takashi Murakami

Japanese artist, Takashi Murakami, is one of the world’s most prolific artists. Working in fine arts, such as painting and sculpture; and commercial media, such as fashion and animation – such as his 2013 film Jellyfish Eyes; Murakami has successfully blurred the lines between high art and low culture, East and West, and past and present; making him an art world sensation.

Takashi Murakami initially studied traditionalist Japanese art at the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music. He was disillusioned and frustrated with the art market in post-war Japan so decided to create art that was rooted in his own Japanese culture, but would still be valid internationally. He drew inspiration from otaku; a culture he believed was more rooted in Japanese life. This developed his brightly coloured animé-esque characters that were rendered on glossy surfaces or turned into life-size sculptures. Highly successful around the world, Murakami’s artwork has appeared on t-shirts, posters and 3-D sculptures.

In 2000, Murakami curated an art exhibition of Japanese art titled Superflat – originally launched at the Parco Gallery in Tokyo and travelling to the MOCA in Los Angeles. This acknowledged a movement toward mass-produced entertainment and its effects on contemporary aesthetics. Superflat was so influential that the term is now used as a moniker to describe Murakami’s own artistic style and the style of those who have been inspired by his artwork.

Takashi Murakami