Murakami, Takashi

Takashi Murakami (Tokyo, 1962) is one of the most influential artists to emerge from postwar Japan.

Murakami earned his Bachelor’s in Nihonga (Japanese traditional painting) from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. In 1990 he entered the world of contemporary art under the guidance of his friend and fellow artist, Masato Nakamura. In 1993 he created his alter ego, Mr. DOB, and began to garner recognition in Japan and abroad for his particular synthesis between traditional Japanese art, contemporary movements in his country such as anime and manga, and American culture, mainly the Pop movement. He was billed as the Japanese Andy Warhol.

His work covers a broad range of art forms, including painting, sculpture, industrial design, anime, fashion and other media and merchandise in popular culture.

Murakami belongs to a generation of artists that came to prominence on the crest of the late 1980s’ economic upswing in Japan and whose pictorial language brings together motifs linked to popular culture.

In his own writings, Murakami coined the artistic style of ‘Superflat,’ a term that also refers to his own artwork. While the concept is characterized by its two-dimensionality, it also blurs the boundary between high art and low art.

His trilogy of “Superflat” exhibitions: Superflat (2000), Takashi Murakami: Kaikai Kiki (2002) and Little Boy (2005) have been on show in prominent museums around the world, including the Parco Gallery in Tokyo, The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, and the Serpentine Gallery in London. In 2008 and 2009 the artist’s work is celebrated in ©MURAKAMI, a major retrospective was exhibited at the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum.

Institutions including the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Queensland Art Gallery and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, all house artwork by this  multi-faceted artist.