Takashi Murakami: All about the Japanese artist

Takashi Murakami (村上 隆) is a Japanese artist known for his works both in paintings and in digital media. The artist is from the city of Itabashi, Japan and was born on February 1, 1962. His arts involve sculptures, paintings and also works as a film director.

His most prominent works are My Lonesome CowBoy and Super Nova. And the styles of his works are usually Superflat (inspired by the anime world), PopArt – The Videos, pop art. Takashi Murakami often mixes traditional art with modern art.

Takashi Murakami - Takashi Murakami: All About Japanese Artist
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educational institutions

Japan is a good place to train artists of different styles, and it was no different with Takashi Murakami. Tokyo University of the Arts and Hongō Junior and Senior High School, the Tokyo University of the Arts (東京藝術大学) also called Geidai (芸大) is located in Ueno Park. It also has other campuses in Adachi and in the cities of Toride and Yokohama.

Other well-known artists graduated from this university besides Takashi Murakami such as musicians Ryuichi Sakamoto and Masashi Hamauzu and filmmakers Hiroshi Teshigahara and Takeshi Kitano and many others.

Takashi Murakami graduated from Nihonga (Traditional Japanese Painting). Hongō Junior and Senior High School is an elementary and high school, founded in 1923 in Tokyo.

Takashi Murakami - Takashi Murakami: All About Japanese Artist
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history with art

Takashi Murakami began his de facto career in 1990 under the guidance of Japanese musician Masato Nakamura. In 1993 he was recognized in Japan and abroad as Mr. DOB.

Takashi Murakami was the creator of the term Superflat, which refers to a postmodernist artistic movement. The term refers to an artistic movement of the 1990s to criticize Japanese consumer culture. This style also applies to other artists who have been influenced by him and features issues of relevance to the Japanese as well as culture, society and others.

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The artist has his exhibitions all over the world and in places famous by artists such as the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain and the Palace of Versailles in France. Takashi Murakami's arts include different types of artistic styles such as anime, painting, sculpture, industrial design and fashion.

Time magazine for the year 2009 elected Takashi Murakami as the most influential artist to represent contemporary culture. In 2011 the company Google asked him to make the Google Doodle (temporary logo change) for the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere. And in 2019 Takashi Murakami made the video for singer Billie Eish entitled “You Should See Me in a Crown”.

Main works

Takashi Murakami's most important works are the sculpture entitled “My Lonesome” and the painting “Super Nova”. They are very different arts and represent different moments in the author's life.

My Lonesome Cowboy is from the year 1998, the superflat-style statue is 288 centimeters and depicts an anime-inspired figure. The statuary symbolizes a naked male figure, with spiky hair and smiling ejaculating a large semen ligament that circulates its body like a ribbon.

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The period of this piece marked the phase of bodily fluids for having many sexualized images inspired by the otaku culture. So much so that the sculpture is based on shunga (representation of exaggerated genitals) and hentai (anime and manga pornography).

Takashi Murakami - Takashi Murakami: All About Japanese Artist

Takashi Murakami's inspirations were from the films Andy Warhol of 1968, Lonesome Cowboys and Loving You of 1957. The latter was starred by Elvis Presley who sang the song “Lonesome Cowboy” in a pose that similarly emphasizes his thighs and pelvis.

In 2008, the fourth numbered edition of My Lonesome Cowboy was sold at auction by Sotheby's for US $ 15.1 million, nearly four times the value at which it was appraised. The sale made Murakami one of the most expensive living artists in the world that year. 

The 1999 Super Nova work can be found at the Museum of Modern Art Place San Francisco. This work contains 7 panels and highlights the fifth essence of Takashi Murakami. It takes everyday things and generates it with kitsch cuteness, very common style of Japanese culture.

The curiosity is that Takashi Murakami doesn't even touch his works, he gets creative and hires technicians to execute them. In Super Nova you can see a giant mushroom full of eyes among several smaller ones. The mushroom conveys the idea of hallucinogenic, magical, atomic. 

The inspiration for this Superflat art is a criticism of the bombing of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the year 1945, when large cities were literally razed to the ground. The painting, therefore, refers to this turbulent history of Japan. Therefore, the monstrous mushrooms portrayed are made human by radiation.

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current jobs

Takashi Murakami's latest work is a shirt and mousepad collection in partnership with the FaZe Clan. They already worked together in June 2021 to release two models of shirts and mousepads in various colors. The models are very much the style of the artist facing anime and manga. The latest partnership is for the 2021 Black Friday edition. For this collection, the shirts are in black and white, with limited edition. Prices for both items will range from US $ 75-$ 100.

Another collaboration, also in early 2021, was between the artist and Perrier, carbonated natural mineral water, part of Minalba Brasil's brand portfolio. The labels came printed on canvas with the artist's original work and popular characters Kaikai and Kiki.

Takashi Murakami - Takashi Murakami: All About Japanese Artist

Would you like to have some item with the art of Takashi Murakami?

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