Wk 11 — Artist OTW — Student Choice
Takashi Murakami is a famous Japanese Artist who works in the fine arts, but also is a part of popular culture. He was born on February 1, 1962 in Tokyo Japan and studied at Tokyo university of the arts. He is mainly a contemporary artist but also does super flat and pop art. A lot of his early works were highly satire and he created “Superflat” which he explained to be a culture where there is little distinction between ‘high’ and ‘low’. For example, he evens the playing field and blurs lines in art by selling plush toys, T-shirts, tote bags, and many other things with his high art making it more affordable. He has worked with many artist including Kanye West and Kid Cudi for their Kids See Ghost album cover which crosses into the popular culture as well.
When people in the modern culture think hear the name Takashi Murakami, we think of his famous flowers and one exhibit that captures them in many ways is his Spirited Flowers & Skulls exhibit. This exhibit has many vibrant colors depicting the signature Murakami Flower as well as himself in an anime and “Superflat” style. With this bright and inviting look the schools and flowers both look inviting and happy, and even with the darker colors the mix of the two is balancing. He uses smooth round lines and contrast one piece that is vibrant with a darker one, but they both feel very similar. His exhibit and the many paintings are big but they feel very inviting rather than intimidating.
Takashi paintings are very prominent in pop culture and his Japanese post World War II style mixes well with it. What he describes as his “Superflat” idea and style makes his paintings both very well-known and popular but also pristine and high class while accessible. What the Flowers & Skulls exhibit suggests is that something associated with beauty and vibrant can mesh very well with something associated with gloominess and fear.
What the Flowers & Skulls exhibit by Takashi Murakami meant to me was that colors and shapes can turn socially beautiful and scary things into the opposite. Takashi’s work being very mainstream and popular while maintaining the prestige is a bit like “Hypebeast” brands such as Supreme who are not quite like brands such as Gucci but maintain and “expensive” and “high” reputation. Finally, Takashi’s art is very beautiful and the fact that he works to blur socially normal lines makes me appreciate him that much more.