Biography of Takashi Murakami
Inspired by the bright, pop-like work of anime and Japanese comics, the colorful and ebullient work of Takashi Murakami has a huge global fan base. His ability to blend fine art with popular culture, has enabled him to enjoy critical acclaim as well as real art market success.
Born in Tokyo in 1962, Murakami was exposed to American art and culture at a young age through his Father’s work on an American naval base. By 1980 he had enrolled at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts where he studied traditional Japanese painting techniques. Kawaii, a Japanese term for “cuteness”, was intriguing to him, and through his explorations into manga and anime he began working out ways to bring together popular trends into a fine-art setting.
His most popular character, Mr. DOB, a mouse-like has appeared on a huge array of merchandise as well as artworks. Many of his most recurring motifs are of smiling flowers, mushrooms, Buddhist imagery as well as skulls. In 2003 his handbag designs for fashion label Louis Vuitton in 2003 propelled his career into the stratosphere.
His creative process involves sketching a design, before a team of assistants scan it onto computers, so that it can then be silk-screened onto canvas before finally being printed. Flat and 2-Dimensional, the style of his paintings has been termed “superflat” by the artist himself. More than anything Murakami envisages and embraces a future that increasingly incorporates commerciality and high-art. And, although capable of dividing critics, his distinctly original approach to the art world has ensured that his work appeals to a much broader audience than fine art.
Since 2002 Murakami has organized an art fair called Geisai which allows artists to create their own booths and interact directly with potential buyers. In 2007 a major Murakami retrospective travelled around the world, beginning at the Museum of Contemporary Art in L.A. and finished up at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao in Spain. He became the first Japanese artist to exhibit his work at the Palace of Versailles in 2010. His work is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and in 2011 a doodle of his was used by Google.