One of the most acclaimed artists to emerge from Post-war Asia, Takashi Murakami (b. 1962)—the Warhol of Japan—is renowned for his contemporary combination of fine art and pop culture, particularly the use of a brightly graphic cartoon style. His production encompasses paintings, sculptures, drawings, animations as well as brand collaborations. His colourful paintings and objects feature laughing flowers, mushroom clouds, Buddhist imagery, skulls, and recognizable iconographies -such as Mickey Mouse-, which he successfully merges with the familiar aesthetic of Japanese comics. By means of his stylistic choices, Murakami´s goal is to create seemingly democratic and accessible works, while denouncing the universality and unspecificity of consumer goods and culture. True to form, Murakami has signed a number of collaborations with brands and celebrities, and his works enjoy a remarkable global fan base, as well as real art market success. In 2007 a major Murakami retrospective traveled around the world, from the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. In 2010, he became the first Japanese artist displayed at the Palace of Versailles, and his work is now included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York among many other museums.
“ Japanese people accept that art and commerce will be blended. It certainly is dangerous to blend the two because people will throw all sorts of stones. But that’s okay—I’m ready. „