Takashi Murakami

Takashi Murakami

Born 1962, Japan.
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Takashi Murakami Biography

Japanese artist and designer Takashi Murakami’s visual ecosystem is among the most recognizable. Murakami’s “Superflat” style is an unmistakable combination of anime, Nihonga painting, and pop art satire that animates their 2D paintings. In his Superflat world, smiling flowers, jellyfish eyes, and Murakami’s own alter ego—Mr. Dob—synergize fine and pop art references together.

Murakami’s near-industrial art practice is operated through his Tokyo-based production and management company: Kaikai Kiki Co. Since 1996, Kaikai Kiki Co. and Murakami have collaborated with major fashion labels including Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton. The latter partnership stems from a long-standing friendship with the late Virgil Abloh, whom he met while they both worked alongside the rapper Kanye West for his album Graduation. Together Abloh and Murakami collaborated on the new Louis Vuitton monogram, and the brand released a line of handbags produced by the artist. These kinds of projects within the fashion industry have made Murakami’s work as present in streetwear fashion as it is in contemporary galleries.

The artist’s work ranges across mediums: creating sculptures, prints, paintings, NFTs, and collectibles featuring his iconic cast of characters. But amongst the vivid colors and pop art behemoths lies sharp references to the fallout of post-war Japan and the expansion of Western culture. Regardless of medium, Murakami’s works are clever reflections of the globalized world, dystopian enough to feel familiar again.

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Artist Image: 2018 Getty Images